Sunday, 14 January 2007

Blackcaps - tempting fate

Last week I read an article in the 'Craigie' column of the Courier newspaper referring to visits of Blackcaps to other gardens in Scotland. Others too, like me, were unsure what it was. I was only certain when I saw the female – there lies my worry.

I emailed the column in the Courier telling them of this Blog. I thought any readers who had been interested in this story might like to see the video of the male and female I had captured. In my email I had reported that I thought perhaps I had seen more than one female – I am concerned that I tempted fate in saying this. I haven’t seen any females at all since then!

On Thursday I had been working in the garden and did spot grey feathers on my bird table but initially didn’t make any assumptions on a snatched bird. It has been very gusty and when the birds have scattered from the table and feeders with the really strong gusts, feathers can get left behind. However I am now wondering if the Sparrowhawk has had a successful snatch. I have, in the last few days, spotted the stealth of this bird in flight especially in the wind where it has flown very close up and down my hedge.

I believe the Sparrowhawk is an early hunter – although I have seen more sittings at the end of the day. But if it is out early, well, it could catch a Blackcap as they are one of the early birds in my garden. The male has always been seen earlier than the female - always seen first too if they came to the fat cake, one after the other.

I still have hope that I will spot the female/s again – perhaps they have found another food source. My resident male Blackcap however is very settled in my garden. He can be seen feeding in the harshest windy and wet days – pretty hardy soul considering he should be in Spain or Africa! He is also holds his place at the table too and is one of the last birds, if he moves away at all, to go when they all get spooked! He even makes a stand against the Robin.

The male Blackcap was always seen more than the female. I noticed her more in the middle of the day – thinking back now it was perhaps after lunch that I spotted the grey feathers on the table.

You can see my video film the male Blackcap on the post http://shirlsgardenwatch.blogspot.com/2007/01/new-year-brings-new-arrival.html and the female Blackcap on the post http://shirlsgardenwatch.blogspot.com/2007/01/i-dont-believe-it_08.html .

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