#358 The blackcaps are back!

The bird feeders have been remarkably quiet so far this winter. I’d normally expect to be re-filling pretty much every day as the hungry birds flock in to fill up. This year I’ve even had to resort to emptying the feeders, as the sunflower hearts have been left uneaten and I was concerned that they had perhaps started to rot.

It was quite a surprise then to see a female blackcap sitting on the suet block the other day, pecking away and getting stuck into a good meal. Blackcaps usually don’t tun up in our garden until late January/February when natural food is really scarce – but I guess you can’t beat a good fill up of suet fat mixed with mealworms!

Today, the female was back again. As she flew off I was amazed to see another blackcap turn up, this time a male.  It’s easy enough to figure out why they are called blackcaps!

Male blackcap. With a black cap. Of course.

Male blackcap. With a black cap. Of course.

These birds are warblers and the majority are migrants that head South for the winter.  Increasingly though, numbers of them have taken to over wintering in the southern Counties – no doubt helped by our love of feeding the birds during the winter months.

They have quite probably the best song of any of our birds in my opinion. Yes,even better than the Nightingale.  One of our local birds has been able to build a bit of nightingale song into it’s own unique song – a real master of the dawn chorus!


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