Upper parts olive-green,• tinged with yellow; beneath yellowish white: wings with the second quill equal to the seventh; third, fourth, fifth, and sixth, with their outer webs sloped off at the extremity.
S. Hippolais, Lath. hid. Orn. vol. II. p. 507. S. rufa, Temm. Man. d'Orn. torn. i. p. 225. Lesser Petty chaps, Mont. Orn. Diet, and Supp. Selb. Illust. vol. I. p. 222. pl. 47. f. 1. Chiff-Chaff, Bew. Brit. Birds, vol. i. p. 258.
Entire length four inches six lines: length of the hill (from the forehead) four lines, (from the gape) six lines and a half; of the tarsus nine lines; of the tail one inch seven lines; from the carpus to the end of the wing two inches three lines: breadth, wings extended, seven inches three lines.
Usually somewhat smaller than the S. Trochilus,with the wings and tail, relatively considered, still shorter than in that species; also to be distinguished from it by the characters of the quills above pointed out, but in colour and general appearance almost absolutely the same. Upper parts olive-green, tinged with yellow and ash-gray: between the bill and the eye, and over each eye, a narrow, faint yellowish white streak: quills cinereous brown, the outer webs edged with yellowish green: all the under parts, including the under tail-coverts, whitish tinged with yellow; the yellow having a tendency on the breast to appear in streaks: axillae and under wing-coverts bright primrose-yellow: tail extending an inch beyond the tips of the folded wings: feet rather darker than in the last species. (Egg). White, with a few specks of dark purplish red: long. diam. seven lines; trans, diam. five lines and a half.
Very abundant in some parts of England, but in others much less plentiful than the last species. Is one of the earliest of our summer visitants, making its first appearance about the middle, or towards the end of March. Chiefly frequents woods and tall trees, and is of restless habits, being always in motion in search of insects. Song consisting of only two, rather loud, hollow notes, resembling the words chip-chop, or chiff-chaff, which are occasionally heard till near the end of September. Nest similar to that of the last species, placed on the ground, or in very low bushes. Obs. Having compared our English S. Hippolais with the S. rufa of Temminck*, and found them agreeing closely in all their characters, I have no hesitation in considering them as the same species.