Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Tuesday 21st. February 2012

A short article and picture in the local free paper caught my eye at the end of last week . It was about a different species of Parakeet found in Kelsey Park , Beckenham , a site that I visit during the winter . It was nice to arrive in plus temperature , although , until the sun rose above the mature trees , it felt chilly . On a previous visit , I thought that I had seen a different Parakeet , but it was a fly by at speed , so I couldn't be sure . The presence of Parakeets was obvious from my arrival , but on checking them out , I could only find the Rose-ringed species on my first lap of the park . I stopped for a while at the sunny end of the lake watching a pair of Nuthatches , high in a London Plane . As I did so , three birds flew into a Cotoneaster bush , but before I could check them out , they were gone again , but it was obvious that they were Thrushes . Beside the bush was a little shelter with seats , so I made myself comfortable and waited . Sure enough , after a few minutes , the
three Redwings returned to feed . After all the time I spent in the cold weather trying to get near the species , they were now feeding not 5mtrs. away from me . They had their fill and flew off several
times , but when other people came along , they disappeared for good . Apart from a few fly-over Fieldfares whilst hedgelaying on Saturday , they were the only Winter Thrushes I have seen since they cleared all the berries from next door's bush . Another lap of the lake , and plenty more Rose-
ringed Parakeets , including this one looking very at home . Then , whilst the local Carrion Crows were arguing noisily in the top of another London Plane , a pair of Parakeets flew by , calling and
flying differently to the RRPs. They landed , and I managed to get a record shot of the pair , just before the Crows drove them off with all their noise . Things quietened down a bit after a while , and
I spotted the pair returning and settling right at the top of yet another London Plane on the other side of the Beck . The better view enabled me to confirm that they were indeed Blue-crowned Parakeets ., a species native to South America .The article had said that there were 8 birds around the park , and later I did see a group of eight birds high up , flying like the original pair , but I couldn't make a positive ID of the group . Walking past one of the areas where bread is thrown in to feed the ducks , I
saw this female Tufted Duck that has a rubber band in her bill and around her neck , but could still feed . Fortunately a local birder also saw her , and said that he knew who to contact to sort things out . While I was on site , the Gulls appeared , like something out of Hitchcock's 'The Birds' , swarming , noisily over the lake before settling down . Amongst them was this BHGull in full
breeding plumage . First time around the heronry , things were pretty quiet , but by the second lap ,
the sun had reached most of the nests , and it was obvious that this year's generation had left the egg .
This was proved when a youngster popped it's head over the edge of the nest . It was followed very
soon afterwards by another , and a third could well have been in the nest too , but I couldn't be sure . I think this was the nest of the pair I saw mating a few visits ago . The nest below the family , still
had the adult sitting on eggs . And it wasn't just the Grey Herons that were working on the next
generation , this female Coot was found sitting tight on her nest on the way back to the car .


Marc Heath said...

A very nice account backed up by some nice shots.

Warren Baker said...

The birds know spring is almost here Greenie :-) Those herons must of been incubating in those freezing temperatures the other week !

Mike H said...

Hi Greenie,
Took a trip round Sevenoaks WR today and from the Willow hide 7Goosander,1 Egyptian Goose,I little Egret and the Bittern in the reedbed under the Alders directly opposite the hide. 13 Snipe out in the open by the Tyler hide,but no Siskins or Redpolls or kingfisher!

Alan Pavey said...

Nice post as always Greenie, interesting new addition to the Britsh List as well (just a matter of time)!

I'm amazed how early your herons are the first birds visited the nests on Feb 17th here and I haven't seen them since, I hope they come back.

ShySongbird said...

A very interesting post today Greenie! With the amount of great birds seen in Kent I sometimes think it is a separate and rather exotic land and after seeing the 'new' Parakeets I'm now sure of it! Lovely photos of both types.

Lovely to see the young Herons.

Horrible to see the state of the poor Tufted Duck, I do hope the RSPCA or others came to its aid. It is heartbreaking to see the results of man's carelessness, I saw a Cygnet with a spinner hook dangling from its beak on a blog the other day :-(

Phil said...

Nice post Greenie, presumably the new Parakeets you saw were two 'pieces of eight' then!