Thursday, May 28, 2009

Strange Songs of Common Birds

Currently, two common species in Germany are causing a bit of confusion as some individuals show a song or call deemed atypical. One is the Garden Warbler Sylvia borin (yes, borin not boring although certain American birders may prefer the latter spelling) and the other is the Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita.

To those readers who speak German, the following links may be of interest. To those who don't, the sound files will still provide pleasure, I presume.

Garden Warbler link here.

Chiffchaff links:


A link from Spain

Surfbirds Discussion Threat

On a German birding site (, a request is posted for information regarding abnormally calling Chiffchaffs: "Neu Aufruf: Abweichend rufende Zilpzalpe " .

Please note that the Chiffchaffs are definitely not Iberian or Siberian Chiffchaffs!

Interesting stuff. I've encountered several of the strange Chiffchaffs during one year now in Germany's South-West but have never encountered any during my 12 years in the North-East of the country. I might do a follow-up post on my latest encounter - time permitting.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Mystery Egg

I recently found this egg in Baden-W├╝rttemberg/Germany and do not own an egg identification guide - can you believe it?!?

Is there anything anyone has to say about the identity of its producer?
My best guess is Eurasian Jay, but I have no way of knowing - and only knowledge is power.

Regarding its size, I didn't have a measuring device with me and it was starting to rain, so I didn't have the time or rather didn't feel I had the time to place anything of know size beside it. You know, these things you always chance upon when turning your pockets inside out (credit cards, 100 Euro bills, diamond rings etc.).
Suffice to say - I hope - that my hand is normal sized for a human hand, fingers could be longer but as I don't attempt playing the bass guitar anymore, I am rather fine with the shape they are. So I just measured my hand and would guess the length of the egg was around 35 to 40 mm.

In case that might help.

Cheers in advance and bird on.