Surprised to have a blackcap pointed out to me in the garden this morning – because I hadn’t seen one before, and couldn’t say I was even aware that such a bird existed. The RSPB site says:
A distinctive greyish warbler, the male has a black cap, and the female a chestnut one. Its delightful fluting song has earned it the name ‘northern nightingale’. Although primarily a summer visitor birds from Germany and north-east Europe are increasingly spending the winter in the UK.
This set me to thinking how many species of bird we see in the garden. On a regular, day-to-day basis:
- Blue Tit
- Coal Tit
- Great Tit
- Long-tailed Tit
- Collared Dove
- Mistle Thrush
- Green Woodpecker
Not bad for an inner-city garden; I think it helps that there are so many trees around – and particularly the deep cover provided by the holly tree. I have no way of confirming this – but we have been here 25 years and there seems a lot more variety. Or maybe I just have more time to sit and watch!
From the Window
All day I watch the mistle-thrush at work
Building with twigs and grass borne piece by piece
To wedge in its wind-ridden tree-top perch
And endure a season only.
While the long-tailed tit in solitary grace
Is dancing with a feather on a stone
Determined to subdue its air-light line
To the contours of a spider-web spun home.
They will be our neighbours then this year
Whose singing will greet us when we wake at dawn
Stirred by the whispering, barely discernible sound
Of what we have built begin to crumble down.
– Rita Cordon
- Rise of the long-tailed tit: 2009 RSPB Garden Survey
- Mild winters push long-tailed tit up garden bird chart: Guardian
- What to spot in the Big Garden Birdwatch: picture gallery