Enter Iberian Chiffchaff: a UK rarity. This bird descended on Penwortham this weekend and its arrival was announced on "Birdguides". Mark and I headed down Howick Cross Lane on Sunday morning to nail it. So too did birders from far and wide, one from Hemel Hempstead of all places. We found the bird instantly, partly because of its loud, unfamiliar call, but mainly because of the gathering crowd of birders, all looking in the same direction. Elated by my first "winner" in ages and its convenient appearance in Penwortham, Mark and I cycled home beaming from ear to ear, we had only been away for an hour!
Imagine our horror when, later that day, question marks began surrounding this rare bird's identity. Apparently, according to some, its call was not convincing enough to clinch "Iberian Chiffchaff" status!
I only wish I had made a sound recording. In my view, it sounded exactly like internet recordings of Iberian Chiffchaffs: short, loud pips followed by a crescendo of notes: nothing like a conventional Chiffchaff.
Oh well, who am I to argue. If the "experts" are still squabbling about it, my humble opinion aint going to sway things much (although I hope it does).