Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Winter Resident Blackcaps

Mr and Mrs Blackcap have now been with us for about a month and during that time they've asserted themselves, taking no nonsense from any of the other birds, not even the great tits, when it comes to who has prime rights on the peanuts.

Their favourite food is still the sultanas. for which they have special dispensers which are only, occasionally, invaded by one other bird - the blue tits. The blackcaps are healthy eaters, which has meant that our supply of old sultanas has now run out, so Mrs Diary's already stretched Christmas food budget has had to accommodate the purchase of two bags of best sultanas to keep them going through the festive season.

According to the British Trust for Ornithology, these blackcaps aren't our summer blackcaps, who have the good sense to move south every winter to warm places like Spain and North Africa. The ones we see in our gardens in winter come from Central Europe or Scandinavia - see BTO article here - and move here to overwinter because of the number of feeders in British gardens.

We were worried that our pair might leave us and move south, but if these are European ones, then we may have them here, feasting off our sultanas, for the rest of the winter.

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