Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Wintering Blackcaps !

 As Temperatures drop, and the first real winter frost sets in.
 Bird activity around the pear tree seems more manic.

 House sparrows feeding on the fat balls around the garden are pushed off by the more aggressive Starlings, 

Blue tits and the occasional Great Tit have been seen feeding hesitantly on the feeders when the opportunity arises.

 While the Robin and Blackbird skulk around the shrubs, darting out to take advantage of the food dropping from the feeders above.

Ring necked Parakeets still regularly visit the peanut feeders, maximum number at the moment is four.

Collared dove and the occasional Wood Pigeon seen most days.

New visitors recently, have been this juvenile Chaffinch feeding on bird seed, and a Blackcap seen darting around the top of the Laurel Bush, feeding on the last remaining insects.

Seeing the Blackcap got me thinking about the "wintering Blackcaps" they seem to be more common these days, with most people reporting at least one Blackcap wintering in their gardens.

I always assumed that these were our breeding birds over-wintering, apparently not,

RSPB have estimated that there are probably up to three thousand Wintering Blackcaps in the UK.

Normally Blackcaps migrate to this country in the late spring to breed and then leave again in September returning to the Iberian peninsular and Western Africa.

It is has been proven by ringing recoveries that the Wintering Blackcaps we see in our gardens have probably bred or hatched in Southern Germany and North east Europe, moving south they have found it viable to winter in Britain due to  sufficient food being available, from either berries or from garden feeders.

These birds then have the  advantage of a shorter return trip to their breeding grounds.

These are some of the  Wintering Blackcaps recorded in the garden, back in January this Year 2013.

Thats at least two Males,  and one female.

Looking forward to this winter, and seeing more of these Warblers.

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