STEP INTO SPRING
To walk amoung the daffodils and hear the blackbird sing
Is when I know I’ve journeyed from winter into spring.
Climbing up the steep path and glancing here and there,
I see so much of nature from still lake to racing hare.
Countryside around me, far away from noisy crowds,
I have a chance to think, perhaps speak my thoughts aloud.
No one there to listen, criticise or judge,
Just the call of a buzzard flying high above.
Nature’s waking up now, I feel the energy it gives-
It’s vibrant sounds and colours that shout, it’s time to live!
Jean K Cave
Our next W.I. meeting is on Monday 19th March. It will be our AGM followed by “A Games Night”.
The next committee meeting will be at 10.00 am at Jenny’s house on Tuesday March 13th.
The Friendship Group will be on Tuesday 6th March.
Photo by Jean Powley
The Ring-Necked Parakeet
Britain’s Tropical Bird.
It was way back in February 2009 that a Ring-necked Parakeet, visited our village for a period of about six weeks. It came in to my garden most of those days and you could always tell it was around because you heard it before you actually saw it. It is a very vocal bird. However, the chances of us seeing one in the village again are fairly remote. Having said that, there are regular sightings of one or two of these birds in Wollaton Park.
The Ring-necked Parakeet (also known as a Rose-ringed Parakeet), originates from the warmer climes of southern Asia and central Africa. Nowadays, the species is found in many European countries including Britain. How did the species arrive over here? It is said that some escaped from the film set of “The African Queen” at Shepperton studios in 1951. Others say that a few escaped from containers at Heathrow Airport and there is even a rumour that Jimi Hendrix released some to bring some psychedelic colour to Britain. Rumours apart, it is widely accepted by ornithologists that they descend from a number of escaped birds or birds that were deliberately released in to the wild. The species was first recorded as breeding in England in 1969. There are now calculated to be 30,000 plus, mainly in the south-east of England. They go around in flocks and many can be seen or heard in places like Kew Gardens or Richmond Park. I am often amused when news items come from these places as you can usually hear these birds in the background.
They have been here long enough to acclimatise in our country and therefore have no problem dealing with our winter temperatures. Their diet consists of nuts, berries and seeds and they supplement this by visiting garden tables and feeders. Being larger than many of our garden birds, they are able to compete for food and nesting places and this has earned them a rather negative reputation. It is thought that they could take over the nesting sites of birds such as woodpeckers, owls and other hole nesting birds such as the Nuthatch. It is likely they will remain largely urban birds because they can easily obtain food put out for birds in gardens.
Although these birds are generally considered to be escapees, it is food for thought that over the last few years, their numbers have been increasing and more are recorded further north each year, even as far as Edinburgh.
Jean is a voluntary Ambassador for the British Trust for Ornithology’s Garden BirdWatch scheme in Nottinghamshire. If you enjoy watching birds and other wildlife which visit your garden, Garden BirdWatch may be perfect for you. If you would like a free information pack about the scheme, contact Jean at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.bto.org/gbw