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Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Parakeets and the weekend

July 21st/22nd

With glorious sunshine I gave Parliament a miss and decided on 2 other sites to check on progress with half a mind on some photography given the weather.
Parliament is going to be awkward from now with the Olympics as I drive, its ok getting up there at dawn but getting home could prove a challenge to say the least, the tube will most likely be chock a block as well. I did manage to visit on Wednesday but alas the weather and the birds did not cooperate, so much for the last post – back at last, they are back but they keep going, it’s a big old playground out there.

The Olympics is in Town

On to Parakeets or given their full name, Rose Ringed or Ring Necked, Peregrines seem to love them, in London I would say they are only 3rd to the feral pigeon and Starling, ferals will always be no 1 due to their abundance.
Of the 2 sites I visited, both have dependant juveniles, 3 RNP were taken on the Saturday by the 1st pair and 2 were caught by the Sunday pair, a total of 5 for these 2 pairs for the 2 days, bearing in mind they will likely hunt again in the afternoon it is likely more.
The parakeets flying style seems to make them a target for Peregrines(they always seem to be going somewhere fast) either aloft or waiting for a flyby, all the Parakeets I usually see are either leaving a roost en masse or in large groups heading for distant favoured feeding areas. I suspect it is this movement that takes place at dawn which the Peregrines may well have learnt to exploit, I know of 2 pairs of peregrines that regularly fly to designated spots to wait for ferals leaving roosts, perhaps the same may apply for Parakeets. On the other hand it could be that there are now so many Ring Necked Parakeets in London that it is inevitable that they will fall as prey. I suspect that in the not too distant future they may well come under DEFRA’s radar as a non-native species similar to Ruddy Duck, I have to say that like many I never agreed with that cull.

Of the 2 pairs that I watched over the weekend, all of the juveniles have been ringed, but as well as this all have had a feather removed for DNA recording, with London’s population it is very welcome for the future, hopefully it will never be needed .
Juvenile Peregrine - a stunning looking bird

On another site in London a pair that fledged 2 juveniles in 2011 have failed this year due to the installation of a large pirate radio mast; this was installed directly above the nest ledge after gaining access illegally to the roof space. They must have been on the roof for hours keeping the pair from incubating and the peregrines unfortunately deserted, the matter is being investigated by the Metropolitan Police, OFCOM and the local Council. From what I gather they will be hard to trace.
With decent weather again forecast for this weekend I may well brave the Olympics on Sunday to try and get to Parliament, after all can’t let a little sports event get in the way of the peregrines can we.

Adult Tiercel - just as stunning

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