The repetitive "chiff-chaff chiff-chaff
" is instantly recognisable.
In the misty, tangled sky Fast a wind is blowing In a newborn rabbit's heart River life is flowing So begins another spring Green leaves and of berries Chiff-chaff
eggs are painted by Mother bird eating cherries From the dark and whetted soil Petals are unfolding From the stony village kirk Easter bells of old ring So begins another spring Green leaves and of berries Chiff-chaff
eggs are painted by Mother bird eating cherries.
Though less in the manner of a chiff-chaff
or swallow, and more in the fashion of a French alpine skivvy, selling her soul - sorry, services - for what I think they used to call a stipend, plus a lift pass and her body weight in lemon drizzle cake.
And no re-reporting of the chilling chiff-chaff
that is tweeted with abandon by sensation-seeking sickos.
Chiffity, chiffity, chiff-chaff
!" It gives the elegant poetry of Ole Miss' Hotty Toddy cheer ("flim-flam bim-barn") a run for its money as the SEC's most eloquent cheer.
"Birds are realising there are more insects around and we are seeing summer migrants, like the chiff-chaff
, coming back, and mallards and great-crested grebes are looking around for suitable nest sites.
At Morfa Madryn a chiff-chaff
was in full song last weekend - before the end of February.
But walking I saw every small thing one by one; not only the handsome gateway chestnut just fully dressed, and the pale green larch plantation where another chiff-chaff
was singing, and the tall elm tipped by a linnet pausing and musing a few notes, but every primrose and celandine and dandelion on the banks, every silvered green leaf of honeysuckle up in the hedge, every patch of brightest moss, every luminous drop on a thorn tip.
They flit from tree to tree, stopping only to give a burst of regularly repeated "chiff-chaff
" song or to eat insects.
I heard my first chiff-chaff
warbler last week, fresh back from its winter sojourn in East Africa.
, almost identical to their cousin willow warblers but differing in leg colour - the willow warbler's are flesh coloured whilst the chiff-chaff
's are black - is one of the earliest of the warblers to arrive here, their monotonous 'chiff-chaff
' call heard as early as late March.And amidst the growing avian chorus, I have also heard the rich voices of garden warblers, the archetypal 'little brown birds'.