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Monday, 4 January 2021

Wild Parakeets in Milford on Sea

After a number of sighting of wild Parakeet's in Milford on Sea we have asked Keith Metcalf, Conservation Officer of Milford Conservation Volunteers (MCV) if he could tell us more.

Here's what he told us:
 
"Yes, they appear to have arrived a month or so back. One has been seen in several Milford gardens, including one in Carrington Close and in the MCV Rowan tree copse in Swallow Drive. I remember seeing my first up in Syon Park London in the early 1980's. Several hundred would gather in this tree at a water garden that used to be in my sales patch.

They first arrived in the 1970's and are likely to have been released caged birds. They roost communally in large flocks of several hundred birds and a few have recently been seen in Southampton and now down here in Milford.

The best give away that one (or more) is about is because they have a very load screechy call, which once learned will not be forgotten. The birds are about 44cm long and have a wing span of nearly two feet. There are thought to be about 50,000 pairs around the UK and can be seen throughout the year where they settle to breed. 

Many African birds that have been found in the wild in the UK do not last very long in our climate, but the Ring-necked Parakeet seems to do well and can spread rapidly, so look out Milford, if their are a pair around, we could see them moving into the parish in the next few years.

They will come to bird tables and feed on nuts, berries, grain and fruit."

So there you have it!

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As pretty as they are, it is not all good news:

...Since establishing a base in London’s parks, the birds have spread to other UK cities including Oxford, Birmingham, Manchester and even Glasgow – the most northerly flock in the world. Experts are now concerned the so-called ‘posh pigeons’ will wipe out other bird species because they compete for the same nest holes and food. Click here to read more.

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