Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Welcome Back Chatterbox

The Whitethroat

Yes welcome back indeed all the way from Africa (the Southern edge of the Sahara in the semi-arid Sahel zone).

One of my favourite little species. Although it is a challenge to photograph as it moves about mostly undercover of bush. In fact it can be quite infuriating as it will sit almost out of sight chattering away and you get the distinct impression its laughing at you trying to get a photograph. The only way is firstly be aware through regular observation of the territories that it frequents each Spring on its return. You then have to wait unobtrusively for it to show which can be some time.

The first one below moved backwards and forwards along a 50 metre stretch of low undergrowth consisting of mainly brambles. On reaching one end it luckily moved up into a taller Hawthorn bush which was quite open. Although I was some distance away, that was my opportunity to get some shots.

This second Whitethroat below is a 'Good News' story really. Two years ago I was able to pinpoint an area in which two pair of Whitethroats nested. Then the Parkland Staff decided to clear the area removing trees and undergrowth leaving hardly anything above ground. Of course this decimated the nesting grounds for the Whitethroats and I have no idea where they nested for two years. Now the undergrowth has started to grow and there is sufficient bramble bush etc for nesting and plenty of cover. The images below is of a Whitethroat that I found frequenting the area now. So its possible that there will be nesting activity this year.


  1. Wow, these are stunning shots Roy :-) I spent a good hour trying to photograph the first Whitethroat of the year on my patch this morning but failed miserably, but it's good to see that you enjoyed better luck :-)

  2. These photos are perfectly timed! Yesterday I saw 'a little brown bird' with very light coloured breast and wondered whether it was a whitethroat. Looking at your photos I'm now pretty sure that it was - I'd no binoculars with me and my eyesight isn't good enough to see detail but this looks exactly like the bird I saw. I heard the first cuckoo on Sunday as well:)

    1. It was probably a Whitethoat D, they are quite unmistakable especially if it was chattering away as well.
      Not seen/heard a Cuckoo yet.

  3. Great shots Roy. I saw my first one of the year this morning, strangely enough.

    And mention of Cuckoos; I heard one yesterday, just before I left Wales.

  4. Oh they are so cute. I don't think I've seen these around my area, but perhaps they are there. Great pics!

    1. Thanks Helena, they are quite secretive.

  5. Excellent set of images Roy, your fieldcraft and patience certainly payed off...[;o)

  6. A lovely collection of photos Roy. It is a bird which tends to elude my camera. I spent some time watching one continually working its way from one end of a hedgerow to the other last year but I couldn't manage to photograph it, so frustrating!

    Lovely to see the Peacock butterfly on the previous post. I had big trouble with my broadband connection yesterday and it repeatedly failed to load your page :-(

  7. Hey Roy...Very, very nice set if photos of the Whitethroat, and the setting is perfect with the rich spring flower buds and foliage !!
    It reminds me in appearance of our Eastern Phoebe!!
    Hope the new growth doesn't get cut back again! It is always what man wants and not about the wildlife!

  8. WOW!
    Great pictures of these cute little fellows!
    I hope they will leave those grounds alone to allow them to breed!
    It is always heartbreaking to discover a devastated site where we used to watch some interesting fauna activity.
    It just happened to with the nesting of Bee eaters.... I was mad!
    Cheers Roy!

  9. These images are so nice Roy! I'm fond of the Whitethroat too. This year I haven't seen him until now so I'm happy with your nice pictures. Hope they will breed again where you see them nowadays.


  10. The background colours on that first Whitethroat make for such lovely lush photos. Beautiful! You got some great shots of both Whitethroats and I'm glad the undergrowth has returned for a possible breeding site again. Let's hope the groudnstaff don't 'tidy' up again!!!

  11. Lovely set of pictures Roy of the White Throat:-)

  12. Hi Roy

    Some wonderful photos is these series. I particularly like the shots were you can see the bird calling. Just great.


  13. Great news about the possible return for nesting, Roy.

    The first picture of the Whitethroat is a stunner... lovely composition and colouring ... oh and the bird isn't that bad either :D

  14. Roy, Oh how i do hope they come to nest again! Their posture and physique remind me of the verdin we have here. Our verdin are quite the chatterers as well and move throught he bushes gleaning insects as they go. You are one patient guy!


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