Sunday, 25 April 2010

'Throats are hoarse

Whitethroats are in!
An early morning walk around the circuit found four Lesser Whitethroats and my first (well, first 17) Common Whitethroats, singing hoarsely and adding to the rasping of the chaffinches.
Lesser Whitethroats fly up from Africa by an easterly route, via Egypt and the eastern Mediterranean, mostly stopping to refuel in northern Italy. Common Whitethroats take a westabout way, crossing from Morocco to Spain. Sometimes the Commons arrive first, this year the Lessers were noticeably earlier (or to be precise, the Commons were noticeably later).

Presumably there was once a common ancestor race which migrated north together, but then the paths diverged and the two species developed different characteristics.....wintering places, migration routes, prefered habitats and of course voice.
A Corn Bunting rattled, just to keep the others in tune. This is almost certainly a second singing male, in addition to the one on the clifftop.
Compare and contrast an early summer flower, with a late remnant of early spring.
The sunny day yesterday was spent with relatives, and had an added bonus of a visiting Great Spotted Woodpecker.


Greenie said...

Steve ,
Still haven't had a Whitethroat , of any description , over here yet .
Know what you mean re. the rasping Chaffinches .
Like the Corn Bunting and the natural GSW shots .

Warren Baker said...

just a few Whitethroats then steve. I only have 1 Lesser, and maybe 1 common - if it stays :-)