I remember seeing a small group of these one autumn, and wondering what they were as they seemed to be so yellow. It is difficult to appreciate the changes in colour depending on light, and the changes in behaviour according to the time of year. I have always known chiffchaffs to be solitary and chiffchaffing away from the top of a tree in early spring rather than skulking around in groups chatting to each other. They are a variable species, and team up with other birds such as the Willow Warbler on migration so it can be confusing.

I was inspired to paint this chiffchaff after seeing them that day, as previously I’ve not thought to investigate them beyond noting their welcome call in spring. Speaking of spring, I have no idea how I managed such an epic fail with my paperwhites but they are looking and smelling glorious, despite being about 6 weeks early…

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