Blackcap in the garden

Photo: spacebirdy / CC-BY-SA-3.0 via wikimedia commons

The Blackcap which was seen in my garden on 6 December didn’t show up again until yesterday, 4 January, when it (or another male Blackcap) spent a large part of the middle of the day on the fat balls. We were given this rather flashy fat ball feeder and this Blackcap seems to love it – it sat in between the two sides of the heart for ages yesterday scowling at all-comers.

He was back today and was accompanied, for a while, by a female Blackcap too. I’m guessing they will hang around for quite a while, go missing for Big Garden Birdwatch, and then return.

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3 Replies to “Blackcap in the garden”

  1. We used to get Blackcaps most winters, but recent years have been barren. However, they can arrive quite suddenly as the following extract from The Birds of Nottinfhamshire shows (still available from most good booksellers!):
    "Arrival can be sudden and synchronous.
    For example, birds were reported on 1 December
    1991 from Arnold, Besthorpe, Carlton-in-Lindrick,
    Epperstone, Gedling, Mapperley, Nuthall, Ruddington,
    Winthorpe and the Idle Valley. In the winter of 1994/95,
    the first arrivals were again reported on 1 December
    from Arnold, Gedling, Plumtree and Trowell."
    Noticeably absent i n the last few days from the disused airfield where we exercise the dogs: Skylarks. Until New Year's Eve, 'the girls' would regularly point Skylarks in the grass. Since then, none. Presumably, they have headed down to the more clement environs of the Trent Valley. And, no, the dogs have not scared them off - birds and canines have existed harmoniously for over 20 years!
    To save posting separately, I would enjoy a Bird of the Year ballot. While many birders would likely go for Lammergeier, the hard-core twitcher might opt for the Kinglet on Barra. Me? Well, probably Hen Harrier - or (wickedly) Red Grouse? But, Mark, as you write, I guess Robin would win the general public vote.

  2. We've not had one despite the garden and small holding having lots of birds, indeed I've ringed 94 birds in the garden since new year, most of them finches;- Siskins, Goldfinches, Chaffinches and Lesser Redpolls,in order of numbers, inevitably one also catches tits and there have been Blue, Great, Coal and Long-tailed. The watching has been good too with Bullfinch ( on honeysuckle berries), Goldcrest and Treecreeper today in the garden and a pair of Teal on our pond. I'd like a Blackcap but given our riches it might be greedy.

  3. It is always good to see black caps on the feeders in the garden in the winter, reminds one of summer. Probably German or at least Northern Europe blackcaps flying west and staying here for the winter.
    By the way this is probably not quite the right place to say this but three very rousing cheers for Nicola Sturgeon who has just said Trump will not be allowed into Scotland to play golf over Joe Biden’s inauguration. Very Well done Nicola.


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