Yesterday Roger Newman had a small flock of Ring-necked parakeets in his garden in Princes Risborough. His wife was able to take the photo below of 3 of them before they headed south. Sandy Macfarlane adds that they have also been seen recently in Askett too! In 1985 a single bird alighted briefly in our Rowan one summer afternoon but never came back. This time they appear to be here in force!
The original introduction to the UK was from escaped pets. They have thrived since due to mild winters and a lack of predators and a number of colonies have been established in the South - East of England. They first bred in 1969.The largest colony of around 7000 birds is at Esher in Surrey. There are also smaller populations in some of the London parks. A gregarious bird it forms large roosts which can be quite noisy. In towns and cities it is a frequent garden visitor.
While working in West London this year I have been very aware of these birds, strikingly coloured but extremely noisy from dawn to dusk, and very active, seemingly always on the move in fairly confined areas. There are now fears that they may be driving some of our native birds from favoured nest sites and even talk of a possible cull!