Everyone seems to be seeing winter blackcaps in the their gardens. Steve and Hazel sent me this photograph of a female at a bird feeder. I didn’t know that blackcaps used garden feeders. All of the ones I have seen in my garden have been feeding on ivy or holly berries – and difficult to see. If you want to know a little more about them try this link to the BTO. Steve and Hazel also sent this photograph of a sparrowhawk on the garden fence. Only twenty five years ago neither the blackcap nor the sparrowhawk could have been photographed like this in a garden (and I am not referring to the introduction of digital cameras!). The overwintering behaviour of blackcaps is quite recent and twenty five years ago the sparrowhawk population was only just recovering from the effects of pesticide (DDT) poisoning. Good news then.
“Hi Malcolm and Sally, had to tell you about my walk yesterday along the Hythe canal at the country park. What an amazing place for a walk, you have to put it on your agenda could spend probably 3 hours there, no facilities but a few great pubs nearby. Quite a few dog walkers but not noisy ones if you know what I mean. I saw a kingfisher twice flying just above the water of the canal. Also robins so tame they came even nearer to pose for a picture think if I had a few mealworm they would eat out my hand. Also a dunnock very busy feeding but was so close by was almost at my feet. Heard a woodpecker. A moorhen, mallard, lots of rooks. Apparently Herons nest on the hill but no sign of any yesterday. Blue tits and great tits, a few blackbirds. I will definitely be going back. Attaching the friendliest robin.”
Last week we went to Haysden Country Park near Tonbridge. Irene found us this male bullfinch – my first for about two years!
Thanks to Steve, Hazel, Sharon and Irene.