Over the last week or so we have been watching a little 'Blackcap' making ginger visits to our garden. Today he obviously felt safe enough to hang around and gave me plenty of opportunities to take some photo's.
For many years seeing a 'Blackcap' or Sylvia Antricapilla, in winter was a rare site, spending their winters in the warmer climates of Spain being the preferred option. Recently though, sightings of this warbler in the UK over winter has increased. Perhaps due to a rise in temperatures, instead of heading to the orchards, vineyards and olive groves of the Mediterranean, the little Blackcap can often be heard, and spotted among the thick undergrowth and bushy woodlands of the UK and Northeast of Europe.
Not hugely sociable these little cap wearing warblers like to dine alone on berries, the elder being a particular favourite, but may be coaxed to well stocked garden feeders in the coldest weeks of Winter.
Nests are built into a small cup from grass and stems in buses between April & July and a clutch of 4 - 5 eggs are laid. They leave the nest around 11 days after hatching and are known to fledge the nest as soon as they can fly. Female Sylvia are identified by their brown cap. They are believed to be monogamous, choosing to partner for life and the male will attempt to attract a female by The male attracts the female blackcap to his an impressive dance raising his black feathers, fluffing his tail, flapping his wings and singing his heart out.
LISTEN TO THE BLACKCAP SONG
I'll be watching this lovely little fella over the coming months in the hope he hangs around to find a mate! Hopefully we will see some fledglings this year!