Birds of Exminster
Written by Adam Drake Tuesday, 11 March 2008 12:46A winter visitor to Exminster?
Our photograph, taken in Exminster during February, shows a Blackcap, (Latin name: Sylvia atricapilla). The male bird has a small black cap from which the species gets its name, whilst the female?s cap is brown. Blackcaps normally migrate in winter to southern Europe and North Africa but this one, and probably some of its friends, has been frequenting gardens in Exminster this winter.
It is rather hardier than most warblers, partly because it will eat small berries as well as a more typical diet of insects.
In recent years, a number of central European Blackcaps have started to winter in gardens in southern England (the RSPB website says 3,000 in number) though the climate in the south of the UK is not necessarily ideal. Favourite winter food in the garden in Exminster? Why ripe pear of course!
This one is still around in early March but should be heading back into Europe before too long and our British breeding birds return in due course from Southern Europe or North Africa.
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