Watercress 44 - October 1998


Blackcap Warbler sighted


There has been a siting of a Blackcap, a member of the warbler family.

Sylvia atricapilla is greyish in colour with a distinctive black cap, not extending below the eye. It is about 14 cms long and is generally seen in woodland with undergrowth, thickets, hedges, orchards and gardens.

Its call is a repeated “tac-tac”. Its song, a sweet melodic warbling, with more vibrant loud notes than the similar song of the Garden Warbler. It tends to start softly and become louder.

It breeds throughout most of Europe, and east to Iran and central southern Siberia. It is a partial migrant, most migrating south to Africa, some remaining in southern and western Europe, as far north as Britain.



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