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The Chiffchaff


The Chiffchaff - Cameos of Birdlife #9

Listen - there he is - singing now from the hawthorn at the edge of the wood; ‘chiff-chaff, chiff-chaff, chiff‘, the thin notes hanging in the air - the arrival of Spring ...

cold easterly   the double notes of a chiffchaff 

Quoting my favourite author ...

[...] “Loudest of all, the chiff-chaff sings in the ash woods, bare and leafless, while yet the sharp winds rush between the poles, rattling them together, and bringing down the dead twigs to the earth. The violets are difficult to find, few, and scattered; but his clear note rings in the hushes of the eastern breeze, encouraging the flowers. It is very pleasant indeed to hear him.” [...]

Richard Jefferies

Featured Artist

The header image of a Chiffchaff is by Christine Corver, an Award Winning Fine Artist, and is painted with oil and cold wax on linen. It is used here with permission. The copyright remains with Christine Corver. Here’s a link to her website page of bird paintings. They are all stunningly beautiful. Do take a look.

Christine was born in the Netherlands and started drawing when she was five years old. Her paper and pencils her toys as well.

After a productive career within the Art Industry, Christine now continues to work as an artist in her atelier on a daily basis. Her artistic vocabulary, embraces a broad range of subjects mainly in aquarel and oils - her style showing a fast movement of clear and vibrant strokes creating a unique purity of authentic imagery.

Her work has been exhibited at many group and solo exhibitions in the Netherlands, Qatar and Switzerland, with a new exhibition planned for 2021.

Audio Citation

The recording of Chiffchaff by Sylvan Schnabel is used here under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 license. This and many more can be found at - Xeno-Canto - a website dedicated to sharing bird sounds from all over the world.

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April 20, 2021 2:14 pm

I can just lie there and listen. Never heard of this bird ant not sure if we even have them here in the Carolinas. But the sound of birds in the early morning is such a nice wake up call. Especially when you consider things we are now hearing in the States.

Sabishī / Ed Shimono
April 20, 2021 2:43 pm

I agree with Richard Jefferies, “It is very pleasant indeed to hear him.” Enjoyed the prose and the hokku. I had never heard of this bird before, and I appreciate the audio recording. I especially like the painting. Thanks for the post, Clive!

April 20, 2021 5:06 pm

Oh, her paintings! They make me want to draw birds!

April 21, 2021 11:07 am

What a wonderful painting of this little bird and the sound recording just brings this post alive. Marvellous! Chipichap! “Chipichap throughout the day” is how John Clare describes the song. (Now I must follow the link to Christine Corver’s website) 🙏

April 23, 2021 2:38 pm

Wonderful to know the warblers are back.

Reply to  Clive Bennett
April 24, 2021 8:27 pm

That will be a shame, but not sure when we will if we cannot return to our home in Spain this Spring! Reports from friends say the swifts are back at Castaño de Robledo. And have heard cuckoos around in the past. Hopefully they will return to our shores if we can improve any Green deal with nature restoration at its heart.

Andrea Stephenson
April 25, 2021 9:16 pm

I’m hearing a lot of chiff chaffs now, bless them they aren’t very tuneful, but it’s good to hear them 🙂

June 16, 2021 6:46 pm

First time in life I want to paint 🎨