Friday, 8 June 2012

Rodley Nature Reserve Blackcap

Rodley Nature Reserve provided this year's first clear sighting of a Blackcap. We watched this female hop tirelessly from branch to branch gathering insects, presumably to take back to the mouths of hungry nestlings. I was quite taken by its beautiful grey plumage.  The distinctive chestnut cap easily distinguishes it from the black cap of the male.



  1. Lovely photos. Blackcaps are beautiful little birds. We often have them in the garden and on the bird feeders in the winter.

  2. Lovely photos Linda - nice to get shots of the female collecting insects. Its looks a good site for water voles - I wondered if there were any on the reserve?

  3. Good to get so close to the Blackcap, Linda. Super pictures.

  4. Hi Linda ,
    I would love to be able to identify the sex of your Small Coppers , but , like you , I have spent many an hour attempting to do so myself . One thing that all the books say about the species is that it is very prone to variation , and that the weather conditions determine the strength of the colour and the amount of markings , which obviously doesn't help matters . The species is also very prone to aberrations , including albinos . As for pointednesss of forewings , I've photographed mating pairs , and still can't see any difference in the wings . I have been out on Butterfly Conservation outings , and seen 'experts' argue over over the sex of a Small Copper , so what chance have we mere mortals got ? I am sorry I can't give you a definitive answer , but adding the 'jizz' of the butterfly to the photo is how I attempt to separate them . Hope this helps a bit . Very nice shots by the way .

  5. It's a good day when you get to photograph a Blackcap out in the open Linda, well done :-)

  6. Lovely shots of a busy Mum Linda.
    You don't get the chance to catch the female in the open very often.

  7. Great shots of the female Blackcap with her beak full of food for the youngsters.

  8. I have just opened the door of our fruit cage to let a female Blackcap out. The first I have seen in the garden this spring. Hopefully she has a nest nearby.

  9. Hello Dartford Warbler, how lovely to have them visit your garden, well done for rescuing the female blackcap from your fruit cage.

    Hello Caroline, good question, I don't know whether water voles are present on the reserve, I must remember to check.

    Hello Emma thanks, that was my first ever blackcap, so a nice surprise.

    Hi Greenie, thanks for your comments and advice, much appreciated. Its comforting to know that its not just me who finds it difficult to tell them apart.

    Hello Warren, yes we were very pleased to be able to observe the bird in the open and end up with a photo for the blog too.

    Hello Roy, she was a very busy lady indeed, Ive never ever managed to glimpse a male blackcap, so it was very pleasing to watch the busy female.

    Hello John, thank you, the willow certainly provided a good source of food for mrs blackcap.

    Best wishes all, Linda


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