High Weald

blackcapBlackcaps (Sylvia atricapilla) arrive to breed from Europe and as far away as Asia and Africa in the spring, and some now overwinter in this country and can regularly be seen on garden bird tables during the winter.

Sometimes known as the 'northern nightingale' because of its delightful song, it may be seen in woods and parkland looking for insects and berries to feed on. A distinctive greyish warbler, the male has a black cap, and the female a chestnut one.

The Blackcap has featured in poems such as John Clare's poem, 'The March Nightingale',

'while the black cap doth his ears assail
with such a rich and such an early song.....' and its primacy among British summer songsters has been widely accepted for centuries, earning it the old title 'King of the warblers'.

Blackcaps can be found in most woodlands in the High Weald, check out our nature reserves for woodlands to visit.