Thursday, 30 April 2020

Blackcap Spring

#BWKM0 ND&B garden challenge
DAY 42

For me, one of the ornithological discoveries of this lockdown period has been the number of Blackcaps through the garden. We normally have two or three wintering birds, but once they have departed there is the expectation of just a couple of brief singers before a few birds turn up in the autumn. Not this year. For at least a fortnight there has been a daily helping of birds moving through (or around) the garden, mostly males. They invariably sing in brief bursts as they make their way along a ribbon of vegetation that threads through the nearby gardens, none of them staying for more that a few minutes. When I take my daily exercise - mostly around the nearby roads - it is obvious that they are are also plentiful elsewhere - singing birds being heard with surprising regularity. We do have a male holding a (suspected) territory in a small copse within earshot of the garden - his song can be heard from the same area throughout the day. These other songsters are not hanging around though. Some days are busier than others, but I would suspect that some 20-25 birds have passed through.


OUR COMBINED TOTAL (BRITISH ISLES GARDENS) IS 182 SPECIES   Still to be recorded are: Arctic Skua, Arctic Tern, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Kingfisher, Whinchat.

Today's additions are: Spoonbill (Matt P).

Our oversea's gardens (New Zealand and Albania) add an additional 26 SPECIES  

You can find the combined #BWKM0 list by clicking on the right-hand tab above.


Our 'garden collective' stands at 61


Garden firsts
Wes A (Capel, Surrey) - Whimbrel
Steve T (Ewell, Surrey) - Dunlin

There have been 195 garden firsts across the competition.


Visual interlude - #21 Fraoch Beinn
The western Highlands of Scotland, taken from the peak of Fraoch Beinn. It was a long climb, and awkward descent, taken in the successful pursuit of the exceedingly rare alpine plant, Diapensia.

How are we getting on?
Alphabetical order by first name. The first figure is the garden score as on March 20th. The second is since then (as up to date as I am aware).

Alastair F (West Mainland, Orkney) 100/61; Arjun D (Wallington, Surrey) 74/67; 
Benne A (Tirana, Albania) xx/40; Benno W (Goodnestone, Kent) xx/42; 
Bernard B (Ruckinge, Kent) 107/65; Bob S (Worcester Park, Surrey) 86/36; 
Callum M (Hemel Hempstead, Herts) 64/61; Cheech A (Langley Vale, Surrey) xx/38; 
Chris P (Claygate, Surrey) 43/41; Daniel W (NW London) xx/xx; 
Dave B (Chatham Islands, Pacific Ocean) 30/29; Dave P (Shoreham, West Sussex) 55/44; 
David S (West Raynham, Norfolk) 87/64; Debbie S (Portland, Dorset) 155/50; 
Dylan W (Thanet, Kent) 111/57; Ed S (Farncombe, Surrey) 79/83;  
Gavin H (Bridport, Dorset) xx/52;  Geoff B (Chessington, Surrey) 69/28; 
Gill H (Tenterden, Kent) 60/31; Gordon H (Redhill, Surrey) 80/46; 
Ian K (Leigh, Surrey) 62/37; Ian S (Sidcup, Kent) 113/52; 
Ian W (Merton Park, London) 86/50; Isaiah R (New Malden, London) 76/59; 
John P (Banstead, Surrey) xx/xx; Jono L (Wanstead, London) 83/68; 
Josephine S (Leatherhead, Surrey) 40/41; Justin T (Charmouth, Dorset) 59/32; 
Mark D (Dorking, Surrey) 59/58; Mark H (Littlestone, Kent) 135/74
Mark N (Stutton, Suffolk)  77/62; Martin C (Lydd, Kent) 140/92; 
Mathew B (Wrotham, Kent) 33/52; Matt P (Pulborough, West Sussex) 126/112; 
Michael D (Craster, Northumberland) 106/62; Mike P (Malling, Kent) 70/64; 
Mike R (Battle, East Sussex) 97/53; Oscar D (Chiswick, London) 67/64
Paul D (London) 84/44; Pete B (Shadoxhurst, Kent) 101/52; 
Phil B (Ramsgate, Kent) 54/30; Rebecca G (Balham, London) xx/15; 
Reuben B (Tufnell Park, London) 45/45; Richard F (Pinner, London) 63/35
Richard P (Charmouth, Dorset) 101/80;  Robin S (Cranleigh, Surrey) 101/55; 
Sam B (Enniskeane, Cork) 67/69; Seamus E (Thornton Cleveleys, Lancs) 67/42; 
Sean M (Pinner, London) 50/40; Seth G (Uig, Skye) 64/57; 
Stephen R (Harrogate, Yorks) 66/47; Steve C (Guildford, Surrey) 66/38; 
Steve G (Banstead, Surrey) 92/70; Steve T (Ewell, Surrey) 59/45
Steve W (Hawes, N Yorks) 91/64; Stewart S (Howick, Northumberland) 131/77; 
Stuart C (Walkern, Herts) xx/63; Sye W (Aston Clinton, Bucks) xx/42; 
Tony B (Woodford, London) 69/53; Wes A (Capel, Surrey) 96/89



bob smith said...

Hi Steve
Yes I've had a couple of briefly singing and elusive blackcaps through the garden. There is a hedgerow that runs from south west to north east between adjacent roads. Last year I even had a reed warbler in late May. Maybe the direction of the hedgerow is significant

Michael Drage said...

Seething with blackcaps here too, more than in previous years I reckon.

House Martin and whimbrel takes me to 64, no noctmig involved!

Fleetwood Bird Observatory said...

Hello Steve,

I added Chiffchaff yesterday (30th) to my lockdown list, bringing the total to 43.



Seumus E Thornton Cleveleys, Lancashire

Steve Gale said...

Blackcaps obviously doing rather well this Spring. The updates were appreciated!

Reuben Braddock said...

Funny, it was better last year for me. I had a breeding pair near my garden last year and the singing male was a constant feature of my gardens soundscape. Not this year though, and much poorer for it.