Black Cap

Is it unusual to see a Black Cap in a garden in Fife in January? The bird in question has been spending about half an hour a day in the garden for the last five days feeding and perching in the nearby hedge between feeding sessions.

  • Well Michael I am not sure about it being unusual to see one in Fife, but I have had a female visiting the garden for about three weeks now. At first she was being chased off by the Robin but now she has a taste for peanut butter she dived bombed a Blackbird the other day to get at the food.

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  • In reply to Rich:

    Thanks for your reply which I read with great interest, and perhaps I should have re-phrased my question with the focus on the month of January and not just in Fife generally. I always thought Black Caps were summer visitors, but apparently not...they seem to be everywhere now from what I have read...lol. Thanks once again for taking the time to answer my question.

    u8myufo said:

    Well Michael I am not sure about it being unusual to see one in Fife, but I have had a female visiting the garden for about three weeks now. At first she was being chased off by the Robin but now she has a taste for peanut butter she dived bombed a Blackbird the other day to get at the food.

     

  • In reply to Rich:

    Rich W said:

    ...but now she has a taste for peanut butter she dived bombed a Blackbird the other day to get at the food.

     

    Cool. I wish something would dive bomb the blackbirds in my garden. They seem to be hanging out right next one of my best feeders and I'm sure they put off other birds. When they're not fighting off other birds they're fighting amongst themselves. I even saw one dive bomb a magpie one day, though the magpie was cool and just ignored it.

    As for blackcaps I'd read the same thing - that they're summer visitors - but I've had as least two, a male and a female, in my garden most days since the very cold weather started. I really like them.

     

  • In reply to Michael Holland:

    Hi Michael.

    Funnily enough, I've only ever seen blackcaps in January! Last year on the BGBW we were graced by a male blackcap and low and behold, we saw one again today! They are lovely birds.

     

    Mandy

  • In reply to AmandaGarratt:

    Tbh I think a lot more of the migratory birds are indeed staying around. Other than the cold spell we have had this year, we have had over the last decade some fairly mild winters. I would also imagine that the amount of food people are putting out is also helping them to make that decision, "Should I stay or should I go now " :-)  A few years ago you would have to hunt down a pet shop to by bird food and even then it was not guaranteed they would stock it, now it is on offer at every store you walk into.

    Life is like Photography

    We develope from the negatives

    More pictures here. http://u8photography.fotopic.net/

  • In reply to Rich:

    I usually only see blackcaps in the summer in scrubby and woodland areas. I've only seen blackcaps in my garden during the winter and not for years until today! During my hour watching, a male and female turned up to feed on the suet balls. Must be because of the cold I should think. I'm in southwest England. It was a very welcome surprise!

  • I saw a blackcap for the first time only a week ago - and I was lucky enough to see two (male and female) today during my hour.

    I have been watching birds in my garden and on my birdtable for years, but never saw a blackcap until I bought a feeding station; they like the sunflower seeds and fat block on it - but having been lured in by the feeding station, they stay to eat whatever's on the bird table too. They are lovely birds, but the robin doesn't seem to agree!

  • In reply to Syntarsus:

    I'm not encouraging anything to "dive bomb" anything, lol, but blackbirds can be a bit bossy and other birds tend to shy away from them - pecking order and all that, but if you want to keep the blackbirds occupied, give them there own little pile (or big) or raisins/sulanas/apples which they love, which leaves the seeds and stuff free for the smaller birds!

    Re the Black Cap, yes, I always believed them to be summer visitors so if you have them in  your garden now feel priveleged! :-)

  • In reply to lyn:

    Welcome to the Community, Michael.

    I have recently started getting a male Blackcap visiting my garden, the first time I saw it I wasn't even sure what I had seen as it was a first for me! I've been told by our experts on here that they are becoming a more widely seen visitor during winter, so it was a real treat. I just hope he turns up for my BigWatch tomorrow LOL!

    Willow.

  • In reply to x:

    I would just like to say a big thank you to all of you for your input on black caps and birdy chat in general. With reference to blackbirds being dive bombed, a sparrow hawk regularly attacks the bird feeders; but the black birds are just too quick for her. Not so for the unfortunate wood pigeons  who appear to be an easy target when feeding on the ground.

    Last summer a magpie tried to pull a recently fledged blackbird out of a bush in the garden, and within seconds three blackbirds appeared from nowhere and physically fought the magpie into submission. Since then, I have developed quite a respect for the blackbird's parenting qualities.