This male Blackcap was an unusual winter visitor in the garden this weekend, appearing on the feeder periodically on both days. Presumably it’s an overwintering bird that has been blown in from somewhere else on the strong winds last week.
It is my first record of a Blackcap in our new garden and was a fantastic surprise. In 2014 my first Blackcap was not sighted until very early April! It will be interesting to see if he sticks around for a while or moves off somewhere else.
Not the best photo but it was taken through the window, from the comfort of the house…and the light was poor…
I fancied a change of scene today so I headed to Gosforth Park Nature Reserve instead of staying round the patch. It was a bitterly cold morning so I harboured a slight hope of glimpsing the Bittern, forced out of the reeds to feed in the open.
When I arrived the feeding station was certainly busy, with plenty of Great Tits, Blue Tits, Coal Tits, Nuthatch, Robins and Blackbirds with the odd Great Spotted Woodpecker, Treecreeper and Jay thrown in. There was just the one Brown Rat as well as a Vole that climbed onto one of the caged feeders as I watched.
As I walked down toward the wetland, three Roe Deer bounded across the fields to the south of the reserve. Further round there were more deer in the fields to the west of the reserve, along with a large flock of Canada Geese and what looked like half the reserve’s water birds, and when I got to the hide I found the water in the reed bed pretty much frozen over.
I stayed in the hide as long as my frozen fingers could stand it, but all was still out in the reeds apart from the odd Great Tit and a Moorhen which flew up a couple of times. Two Grey Herons were perched in their usual tree to the north of the reed bed and I spotted a smart pair of Bullfinch on my walk back to the car but no Bittern for me today.
I think I might wait until the weather warms up a bit before I give it another try!