Tuesday 5 March 2019


Not my photograph, but all through this winter I've been enjoying watching a hen Blackcap, very like the one in the picture, who has been haunting the garden, feeding on suet cakes and mealworms. All through my early years, I seldom saw a Blackcap. They tended to behave like the other warblers, singing generously but staying out of sight – and they were strictly summer visitors. Now, having discovered the benefits of garden bird feeders, they are overwintering here and have become quite a common bird of the suburbs. Common but never commonplace – in their subtle, unshowy way, they are surely one of our most beautiful small birds. And the female, with its chestnut cap, is every bit as beautiful as the black-capped male.

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