Saturday, 11 May 2013

Tristis in Cyprus?

The Chiffchaffs in Cyprus had me a little foxed.  When we arrived there were Chiffchaffs everywhere, in fact, the first bird I heard (and indeed woke me up the first morning) was a singing Chiffchaff.  After a few days the mega numbers had petered out and while there were still plenty around, Chiffchaff numbers had dropped significantly.  However this enabled me to start synthesizing what I was hearing.

Many were doing the 'seoo' call, with this call probably being the commonest type I heard.  Occasionally I thought I heard the 'peep' of a tristis amongst the groups of chiffs, but suspected my ears were playing tricks on me and it was a variant on the 'seoo'.

It wasn't until my second week, when the birding had slowed a little when I properly listened to a couple of birds calling in pine trees by Aspro dam.  There were few other birds to distract me this time and I concentrated a little harder.  These birds sounded like tristis!  Or at least they sounded very like the last tristis I heard, back in Bedfordshire the winter before last.

They were actually very difficult view as pines they were in were rather thick, but the views I got of both birds seemed to confirm tristis - creamy brown ground colour, yellow restricted to wings and tail, a good supercillium, pretty dark bare parts - they looked the part.  Unfortunately as I only had my digiscoping kit with me getting any images was next to impossible.

I did however record their calls on my iphone.  The next step is to compare the sonograms to confirmed tristis and see how they stack up.  And get in touch with the Cyprus recorder to see what the score is with tristis on Cyprus.

So, I guess, more of this later...

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