Parakeets fly into St Albans garden for winter break

PUBLISHED: 15:01 30 December 2010

AS MOST birds head south for the winter, a more colourful visitor has headed north to St Albans.

The ring-necked parakeet, most commonly spotted in Surrey, Kent and Sussex, was seen visiting a garden in St Albans on Boxing Day.

David Baker and his six-year-old daughter, Lucy, spotted the colourful bird on their bird feeder in Orient Close where it was eating sunflower seeds.

David, who is a keen birdwatcher, said he was quite surprised to see the bird and even more so when two more visited the bird feeder the following day.

Although sightings of the birds are quite common in parts of London, they are rarely seen in St Albans. Despite its tropical origins, the birds are quite capable of surviving the cold UK winters and favour suburban parks and gardens where the food supply is reliable.

David said: “I know that these birds are quite common in places like Wimbledon and while they are fascinating to look at, they can get quite noisy when there’s a lot of them and have caused some people problems.”

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Recently we, as a family (minus two of the kids), visited The Lodge RSPB reserve in Sandy, Bedfordshire. I had never been before, which is perhaps amiss of me as a birdwatcher as it is the headquarters of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds or RSPB and only 45 minutes drive from home.

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