The blackcap (and Mrs Brown!)


I can’t wait to share this moment with you!  This is one of my favourite birds.  These pictures Alison and I took are all in one afternoon down the River Idle.

The first thing you hear is the sharp “tak tak!” call to ward you off, so when we got that we knew they were here.  Then, as shown in the next picture, the male was actually singing to us: breathtaking.

blackcap singing.JPG

Its song is a melodious warble, usually ending with a phrase rising in pitch.  The blackcap is greyish on the body with a striking jet black cap.  The female (pictured below) carries a chocolate brown cap.

blackcap female

It is a summer visitor, so we were quite pleased to see and hear quite a few of them last week.  They favour parks, gardens and woodland areas, lower thick undergrowth and mature tall trees.  The nest is a grassy cup, usually low down in a thick bush.

The birds usually stay here from April to September, but sometimes the odd few overwinter here.  We actually saw a female on a bird feeder last January.

Listen for the “tak tak” or the beautiful song when out walking and you might spot one! We hope you find this bird as beautiful as we do.

blackcap male.JPG

By the way, yesterday (8th April), we saw our first swallows at Eaton!


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