Saturday, November 10, 2007

Parakeets

Last Saturday morning I was walking my dog in the region of Upper Lodges, Stanmer park when I heard an exotic bird call. It's origin seemed to be in a large Beech tree and i approached in order to identify the caller. Unfortunately a Crow arrived in the tree with the same idea and frightened the stranger away - it flew off in the direction of Stanmer village. And that was that...

...until this moerning when I was there again. And so was the bird. This time it flew across a gap in the canopy and I managed to see it in silhouette only and partially identify it as a parakeet of some sort. It then disappeared from both sight and sound. So I was not able to pursue it.

Hopefully I will come across it next time I visit the area.

There is a history of such exotics in the area. Hollingbury Woods was once [1970s-90s] as the home of upto 20 breeding ring-necked parakeets which made text books on the subject. These gradually dwindles and disappeared after the nesting tree which stood on a slope by the children's playground fell over one windy night.
Last winter, there was a bit of excitement in Waldegrave Road near Fiveways when a pair of green parrots with yellow faces arrived in the street regularly feeding on fruit of a particulalry abundant crab apple and the seed etc put out by residents. They stayed several weeks and were reported and photographed in local magazine 'The Fiveways Directory'. After disappearing for a few weeks they reappeared with a third bird in tow. Whether they had bred or not remains uncertain, but their residency this time was shrt-lived. As far as I know their present location or fate remains a mystery - as does their origin.

If you have any information on any of these matters I would be pleased to hear them. Meanwhile I shall try to keep you up to date on the Stanmer parakeet.

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