I get the occasional visits from a pair of Rose-ringed Parakeets but suddenly a group of seven arrived. Not sure if it was a family party or not.
Even the Magpie looked surprised.
I liked this one doing the splits
I live 30 miles west of London but they seem to be spreading this way. The shape of things to come I fear.
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A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song. (Chinese proverb)
Great photos TJ, but that's one bird you can keep lol.
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Great pics TJ haven't seen any up my neck of the woods in East Suffolk yet
Oh wow! That's pretty impressive - they look almost unnatural in an English garden. It will be interesting to know whether they become regulars. Don't forget to let us know!
I heard and then saw my first ones at Kew Gardens, my daughter would not believe me that they had naturalized to begin with. She really thought I was pulling her leg. From the flocks I saw flying around they seem to be doing really well.
Caroline in Jersey
Right now I would welcome them. My garden has gone quiet apart from my hooligan sparrows. All my other regulars are bobbing in for a few minutes every now and again in ones and twos, but not in any numbers. So a few parakeets would be quite nice!
Love the one doing the splits.
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GermainFrom the flocks I saw flying around they seem to be doing really well.
They are indeed Caroline. There are thousands of them in London and to the west. So many in fact that Imperial College are undertaking a study into what impact they are having on the environment and our native wildlife. One of our Forum members, Keeta, has been involved in monitoring night time roosts during last winter. I'm not sure whether that is still ongoing.
Be careful what you wish for, Sparrow. They are very colourful and not at all aggressive to other birds. They are more likely to squabble amongst themselves. I suspect if there are too many though they could become a bit of a nuisance. For the moment I quite like to see them.
They look as if they could get through a lot of food,not a bird we see in our neck of the woods yet but they are spreading so one might end up on my Yorkshire list one day.
Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can
Nice pics, they are spreading out from London big style I live 30 miles south of central London and we have at least 2 large colonies nearby. The Imperial College is still doing the study and recently done another count which i was unable to attend. They often fly over the garden but have yet come to the feeders, which is probably a good thing as the local Sparrow population have take up residence at the feeders in such large numbers even the Starlings get mobbed out.
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I for one abhor these birds. They may well be nice to look at, but the racket they make and their very presence is utterly alien to our landscape. And how much more beautiful is a flock of starlings or sparrows than this 'flying, screaming Japanese Knotweed'? There is only a finite amount of food, habitat and nesting sites out there, so if these birds are expanding their range then something else native will be suffering. A prime example of how humans interfering with nature can have vast consequences (mink, anyone?). The cull cannot come soon enough.
Great photos, I have cetainly never seen any parakets here in Devon, as yet. Quite amazing to see them on your feeders like that !!
My nephew who lives in Wakefield has had a pair coming every day to his feeders for the past six months or so :)
J_Bomb_3kA prime example of how humans interfering with nature can have vast consequences (mink, anyone?). The cull cannot come soon enough.
There is actually no real evidence that Ring-necked Parakeets have any adverse effects on native wildlife (at the moment at least), and there are currently no plans for a cull - which would be difficult, unpopular, and expensive - so it looks like they are here to stay.
I am fairly neutral on the presence of this species, which is in recent years has spread into my part of the London (coming in to the area on two fronts, from the south and from the west). They are still in low enough numbers to be a bit of a novelty round my way, and are established only at a few sites - but they are still spreading.
Other introduced species can also often be looked at in a neutral way (though a few, like American Mink, clearly have an adverse effect on native wildlife) - but we should definitely do more to prevent species which aren't already here from establishing populations as a result of accidental, or deliberate, introductions.
I apologize in advance for the long post, but I feel it is necessary. I am most certainly not here to start a 'flame war', but I am most certainly here to 'step up for nature', as we all are beyond doubt. There can be little arguement that the birds are an invasive species, but their impact is thus far little understood in this country as they have not yet reached saturation point.
To that end, you say there 'is actually no real evidence that Ring-necked Parakeets have any adverse effects on native wildlife' and then add an important proviso in brackets which completely undermines your subsequent statements. I have to insist that you are quite wrong.
I would like to draw attention to a study conducted in Belgium, where the problem is worse, which showed that parakeets are in direct competition with other hole-nesting species such as nuthatches, woodpeckers and starlings, and where nesting sites were limited the parakeets, through their nature of breeding so early in the year, out-compete native birds and negatively affect their populations. I for one adore nuthatches and would far rather see a healthy ecosystem of which they area part rather than a mono-culture of screeching green devils!
Further, a study out of ICL shows that parakeets actively intimidate other birds at feeders and tables, and I have watched their impossibly strong beaks rip through mesh hanging feeders and decimate their contents in a matter of minutes. With native birds in a general decline anyway, and with some populations relying to an extent on human feeding to sustain them in the winter months, this extra competition could well be a bridge too far for some species .
The situation in the UK was recently summed up by IBIS in their International Journal of Avian Science, where in summary they have aptly summed up the impact of the parakeets. They state it is not that the parakeets are having 'no impact', rather that the lack of historical data and the statistical analysis done upon it there-in does not show any impact, yet, in this country. Going forwards they seem certain that some impact will be measured, not only on biodiversity but also on local ecosystems and crop damage.
Ignorance of the facts does not mean they do not exist. So we are faced with two options: a) get sentimental about control measures and excited as we have something new to 'twitch' at, whilst at the same time continuing to blindly accept the status quo, or b) act now whilst it is cheaper and easier before the problem inevitably gets worse and therefore more expensive in the future. Conservation by its very nature means that we must actively work hard to 'undo' the influence humans have on the environment in order to give nature the best chance at 'being nature'. I for one am not sitting twiddling my thumbs waiting for the day when I wonder where all the 'good' birds have gone!
PS I took a look at your blog, great work there. Joe public cannot possibly be reconnected with nature fast enough!
I tend to agree with this, not every word but the general gist of what is being said. 'Non natives' is a difficult subject. Do we keep them all out and risk losing interesting additions to our bio-diversity or only deal with it when it is a nuisance and have to put considerable resources into the problem.
Mandarin Duck is causing no problem, yet Ruddy Duck did (not to us but to to Spain). Had we controlled Ruddy Duck earlier there wouldn't have been the problem yet we appear not to need to control Mandarin. The same with a few other species - deer, mink and who would have thought eating a few American crayfish would destroy our own crayfish.
It is a difficult area but the numbers and behaviour of parakeet do potentially seem to conflict with our native hole nesters.
Visiting the Cotswold Water Park. Have a look at http://cotswoldwaterpark.wordpress.com/