Tuesday, 10 April 2018

My first summer visitor

This poor bird has (probably*) flown all the way from Africa, only to arrive and find cold wet and windy weather.  Male blackcaps (Sylvia atricapilla) usually announce their arrival in the garden by singing but this one was hungry.  The photos were taken through a rain-streaked window on a dark wet afternoon and were the best I could manage. Fortunately the forecast is improving so I expect he will be singing in the garden soon.

*Some blackcaps overwinter in the UK, mainly in the south, but I haven't seen one here since last summer.  The maps from the BTO Bird Atlas show relative abundance in summer and in winter.

And here is a bonus bird, another one with a black head.  This is not a summer visitor but is here all the year round.  I always get a visit from a male reed bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus) in April.  It has probably run short of food and comes from the reed beds in the nature reserve a mile away to my bird feeders.  I have never seen a female in the garden.

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