This is my third image from my encounter with this dear little blackcap. After feeding and cleaning it’s beak, it hopped up into the branches of the shrubs, in the the riverside hedgerow, to preen. Some of those feathers are still quite downy and the gape (oral flanges) in the corners of the beak are clear to see. I have no idea exactly how old this fledgeling is but it certainly seems to be fending for itself well! The brambles were providing a feast for bees, butterflies and birds. My mum might just have sneaked a few ripe berries for herself too!
I’m sharing this second image of the juvenile blackcap, that I encountered yesterday, for today’s Fotospeed challenge. I haven’t had to crop these images much at all. I was so close to my subject I could hardly believe it! The blackcap was very aware of me and the numerous passers-by on the Thames Path, but was completely unfazed, gorging itself of the bountiful berries before hopping further up into the brambles to clean it’s blackberry-stained beak. I loved the way the light caught it’s face as it turned and stared straight down my lens!
Last week brought so many fantastic photography opportunities, but the ones that I most want to share in this weeks Monday photo-challenges are among the last few images that I captured yesterday in the late afternoon. I was with my parents at The Weir in Walton, on the banks of the Thames, near Sunbury Lock. There was an abundance of wildlife in the brambles and trees along the river path. I almost missed this juvenile blackcap picking blackberries. It’s often the song that first alerts me to the presence of a bird but this little one was being very quiet. It’s efforts to pick the blackberries where rather clumsy though and the sight of a shaking bramble bush gave the game away! I took a closer look and a shaft of sunlight caught upon this cheeky little face. I was pretty sure the youngster was a blackcap having seen an adult male in the vicinity earlier on. It’s perfect habitat for them as they feed on both berries and insects! I’m sharing this first image for Wex Mondays. More to follow!
This week I’m celebrating having seen two warblers that I have never seen or photographed before! Jubilant? You bet I am 🙂
I was alerted to the presence of both these beautiful birds by their own joyful song of Spring. This first one really took me by surprise! Only a few weeks or so before I caught sight of him I had commented on a photo by Solaner, Wordless Wednesday: Blackcap, saying how wonderful it was to see photos of a bird I have been trying to catch sight of for years! Guess what? Found him!!! The beautiful Blackcap, a member of the warbler family. Please follow the link to the RSPB site and have a listen to his song! He’s often known as the Northern Nightingale so I will dedicate these images to my long-suffering Crohn’s consultant, Dr Nightingale at St Mark’s Hospital in London. He’s a big fan of my photography and is backing a project to brighten the hospital walls with some of my floral, landscape and wildlife photos. I saw him just today and have him utterly puzzled once again over some completely unexplained abdominal pain. Tests so far suggest that it’s not a hernia, active disease or strictures! Our plan now is that next time I get an attack of severe pain that I go to my local Emergency department armed with a CT scan request form. Perhaps my bowel is getting twisted at times? It could be something completely unrelated to the Crohn’s so my local doctor has ordered an ultrasound. We’ll figure it out! Until we do I shall continue to be joyful over all the wonders of nature, especially the birds that sing so beautifully for me 🙂
This second songster is the rarely seen Wood Warbler. At first I had thought that it was probably the slightly more common Willow Warbler but the distinctive yellow throat gave it away! The most amazing thing about these two birds that I have never even laid eyes upon before, is that I discovered them both on local stretches of The Basingstoke Canal. Right on my doorstep! Having the opportunity to sit and study them for quite a while was such a thrill for me. Exquisite little birds with the most joyful song to match their delicate beauty. I feel utterly blessed 🙂