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Some Little Birds

Little Birds in the Breamish Valley

Having been looking up and not failing to notice the larger long-legged herons and the bulky greylags flying over the Breamish Valley, I thought it was time to champion some little birds.

The ones show here are all commonly seen in and around the Breamish Valley. Being smaller, they can be a little harder to spot but their distinctive colouring is a big give-away for spotting and identifying these little birds.

Breamish Valley chiffchaff

This chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita), belonging to the family of warblers, was photographed at Branton Lakes Nature Reserve. It’s readily identified by its ‘chiff-chaff’ song – from which, of course, it gets its name.

Breamish Valley whitethroat

Another insect-eating (plus fruit and berries) warbler is the whitethroat (Sylvia communis). They typically dart about rapidly, looking for the cover of trees or shrubs, so they can be hard to identify until they sit still for a moment. This one was also photographed at Branton Lakes Nature Reserve.

Breamish Valley yellowhammer

Not a warbler this one but a bunting. Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella) are, perhaps, the easiest of the three so far to identify, owing to their bright yellow head and underparts. I often think this is the closest thing we have to a yellow canary in the Breamish Valley. This one was photographed on a fence post along the River Breamish near Low Hedgeley.

robin Breamish Valley

And no short list of little birds would be complete without the robin (Erithacus rubecula). It’s Britain’s favourite bird and the nation’s unofficial national bird. Not a warbler or a bunting, the robin is a chat – which is nice, ‘cos we all like a chat don’t we? Especially being cooped up under Lockdown. This red-breasted, insect-eating, invertebrate-devouring, worm-gobbling, seed-crunching, fruit-pecking little bird was photographed on a wide expanse of yellow gorse along the River Breamish near Ingram.

Be as a bird perched on a frail branch that she feels bending beneath her, still she sings away all the same, knowing she has wings.

Victor Hugo

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