Watching the elegance of the Willow Warbler

A sunny morning and my garden filled with the sounds of singing birds. All the regular visitors are there and happily flying around to greet the new day. Definitely a lovely way to start a day… While I was watching the birds chasing each other around I spotted a new visitor to my garden. A tiny delicate bird was hopping around on my garden wall. Singing a lovely melodious song and soaking up some sunshine. Giving me enough time to take some photos and find out that this was a Willow Warbler.

A lot of people find it difficult to tell if it’s a Willow Warbler or a Chiffchaff. And so did I…. I learned after reading up on those birds that the first thing to look for is the colour of its legs. The Willow Warbler has more orange/flesh coloured legs while the Chiffchaff has mostly dark/black coloured legs. If you’re lucky to hear their song you will be able to tell the difference between a Warbler or a Chiffchaff. Mine was definitely a Willow Warbler….

The Willow Warbler is marked with the Amber status which means that the population has decreased over the past 25 years (almost 70% for the UK) but it seems to be recovering slowly again. So maybe I was lucky to spot one around in the UK. You will probably get more lucky in Scandinavia as it is the most common bird to be seen there.

I don’t think I will see it in my garden that much anymore for the next couple of months, as it will migrate back to Southern Africa after September. But I sure hope it will return again next year. Have a safe flight my little friend!


  • Sheena Findlay says:

    Cindy that is really beautiful. Thank you for pointing out the differences between the Chiffchaff and the Warbler. I hope, for all our sakes, that this gorgeous bird does return to your garden next year. We’ll all benefit from your sightings 🙂

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