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Having spotted movement in the Bramble bushes, I was moving in for a closer look, when out popped this beauty, a female Blackcap.

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She wasn’t at all happy with my proximity and started giving me a real scolding, a ‘ticking off’. I’m sure you’ve heard Robins and Wrens making their ‘ticking’ sound. Well, Blackcaps also have a ‘tick, tick’ contact call, which seems to get louder, harsher and much more insistent when they’re agitated.

Why was she annoyed? It seems I was keeping her from her food. She had spotted some particularly succulent-looking blackberries but didn’t feel comfortable about moving in to the open to eat them while I was nearby.

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A few minutes after I realised what was happening and moved away, she popped out and resumed her feast. So, she was content, and I got some nice photos – and, though the dictionaries don’t mention it, I do wonder if this is where the phrase ‘to tick (someone) off’ comes from.

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