Monday, 1 January 2007

New Year brings new arrival!

What a surprise this morning – a new arrival to the bird community of our garden! 2007 came gusting in with some rather stormy weather last night. We had such strong winds that we took down the hanging bird feeders to prevent them flying into the windows!

This morning as I re-filled
and re-hung the feeders I could hear the birds chattering in anticipation of getting to the fresh foods. No sooner was I indoors when I spotted our new arrival and rushed to set up the camera to catch it on film.



Blackcap male feeding on fat cake, video 0:30 with background music, try 480p quality.


Blackcap male, shown above, is what we now believe our new arrival to be. Identification became a bit tricky – we searched through books and pics on the web.

The blue tits initially seemed wary of this new stranger. The blackcap however appeared to be not in the least bothered about the other birds and got on with his search for food. After some time at the table it quickly found the fat cake hanging from the tree and appeared to enjoy it greatly - as you can see from the clip above. Soon after, it discovered a hanging peanut feeder and had some of that too! I am quite amazed at what brings new birds to my garden and can only assume they follow other species of birds that enjoy the same diet as them. Perhaps though in this case it was attracted to the new seed mix that I added to the table two days ago – especially for robins!!

Our new visitor stayed around most of the day and I have absolutely no doubt we will see him again tomorrow. He was not shy in the least - but we also spotted the Sparrowhawk taking a couple of fly-bys today so it had better take care!

Update January 6th, originally I thought this bird was more likely to be a marsh tit or willow tit - although it didn’t have the black bib I thought its shape was more accurate. I thought it could perhaps be a juvenile. I had never seen this bird before but it definitely had the swift flighty movements of the other tits and arrived when they were at the feeders and table. However this morning I spotted another almost the same - except that this one had a chestnut brown cap. I looked at the books and web pics again. Today’s sighting was definitely a blackcap female – so confirmation now that the video clip above is of a blackcap male.

To see more info and pics of the Blackcap, Marsh and Willow tits follow the links below:
http://www.rspb.org.uk/birds/guide/b/blackcap/index.asp
http://www.rspb.org.uk/birds/guide/m/marshtit/index.asp
http://www.rspb.org.uk/birds/guide/w/willowtit/index.asp

The video clip of the Blackcap male, shown above, was taken in my garden on January 1st 2007.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on attracting such unusual Winter visitors to your Garden , the Blackcaps are Summer Breeders to our part of the world , but from ringing returns it appears we are getting a good number to Tayside during our Winter which originate from as far afield as Germany, well done , I wish you well. yours Bob McCurley Angus and Dundee Bird Club