Friday, 27 January 2012

Crossbilled Blackcap

Had a bit of time to put a net up in the garden this morning. I caught one bird, which was yet another Blackcap!

This one was a quite different from all the others though, because it had a deformed bill, and had been eating something which had made its face go very yellow....

A right weirdo!

It was light compared with my recent Blackcaps (weighing 16.4 grams - the previous five birds coming in at 18.7, 18.7, 23.0, 18.8 and 18.5), but it had a fat score of 25 and a bit of body muscle. If it was summer, and this was a Phyllosc, I would have said the yellow on its face was pollen - but it isn't - so I haven't a clue what it has been feeding on!

Had a couple of looks along the Estuary today, the mid afternoon look revealed 12 adult Med Gulls. One was well on its way to summer plumage - yummy! None of them were today, I think the white colour ringed bird the other day has already moved in.

This bird was white 31A7, and it turns out it was ringed as a third calendar year bird on 24/06/09 at Harlingen Haven, Friesland, Holland. There was an interesting re-sighting of it on 13/05/10 on the Island of Griend (also Holland), where it was seen eating a Black-headed Gull egg! Since then it has been seen only once before I spied it, this was on 20/06/11 at The Wetland Centre for Wales, Llanelli, Carmarthenshire.


  1. I caught a Reed Warbler in late November once with a similar looking bill. In fact it was in woodland and this combined with the date made me give it a good grilling, but it was indeed a Reed Warbler. If I remember correctly it's weight wasn't bad so it must have been managing to feed okay.

  2. Amongst the Med Gulls at 3:30-ish were a white-ringed adult (that I couldn't read) and a 1st-winter, so you can definitely tally 14 for the day Steve.

  3. A Crosscap, poor little thing but it obviously must be getting by just about by the sounds of it.

  4. That's a wacky Blackcap - surprised it has managed to eat anything with that conk!

  5. Fleetwood - a deformed Reed Warbler in woodland in November, that is even odder than this Blackcap!
    Gavo - Excellent, I wonder if that white-ringed bird was 31A7?
    Marc And Skev - it is the only Blackcap I've caught with that yellow staining, so presumably this is all it can eat??? Surely it is pollen?