I counted 140 Curlews on two mudbanks in the estuary near Devoran today. That’s a huge increase on recent years, and suggests the curlew population, and that of other wader birds, are well on the way to fully recovering after the wildlife disaster that followed the closing of the tin mine inland. The curlews were mostly resting, but some were feeding on small molluscs in the mud.
Their downward curved beaks are proportionately probably longer than that of a pelican, but narrow. In order to swallow or crush the little periwinkle type univalves, they were having to manipute the shell whole, right down the beak almost to the head in order to get enough leverage. We also saw two grey herons fighting over a small piece of fishing territory, flocks of oystercatcher, redshanks and a family of buzzards overhead.
Picture credit: Photo cropped from a curlew on the creek by Linda.
I think these are just one particular species of parakeet, the monk parakeet which can apparantly cause damage to electricity pylons. The ever increasing rose ringed or ring necked parakeets that we see fly overhead on a daily basis shoudn’t be affected by any cull. They might be able to be shot like pigeons , though, if crop farmers are affected and apply for a license to do so. The local parakeets are a bit noisy as in raucous, so it would be a shame in some ways if they kept on increasing and drowned out the native song birds.
Because of damaging food crops and being a threat to native wildlife, parakeets in Britain living in the wild may be culled. Originally from South America they were released from captivity in the 90s and the grey, yellow and green birds are living in the south of England.
There are only between 125 and 150 that live in the entire UK nevertheless the decision to exterminate them has been taken but conservative groups are calling for them to be re-homed instead of being shot.
The Department of Environment’s Food and Rural Affairs said that as part of the Defra initiative control is being done to eradicate the potential threat imposed by the parakeets to the native wildlife, crops and national infrastructure. Significant damage has been done by the species in other countries through their activities of feeding and nesting so early preventative action is being taken to stop the same from happening in the UK.
These parakeets build very large communal nests and could cause a threat to the agriculture and our safety since they could cause structural problems with the national electrical supply, said The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds but they should not be shot.
I believe that Turnstones should be included as urban wildlife for the way they like to colonise pires, harbours, boat ramps etc in the man made marine environment and the way they behave. Turnstones seem to like hanging about very near people, keeping themselves just a few feet away at times, as they happily wander about pecking at the shorline, floorboards decking or harbour walls.
I’ve bought an annual pass for Kew Gardens this years so I’ll be going more frequently, and for shorter trips. Apart from all the botany and horticulture of course, Kew is also hone to a fair bit of wildlife, some of which is introduced and others being natural colonisers. Around the lakes for example, there are exotic geese and ducks. The woodland walk is always a good place for bird spotting and last time we surprise this trio of strange looking flightless birds, who seemed to hang about near one of the maintenance crew depots, so I’ve no doubt they get looked after to some extent.
These Greater Spotted Woodpeckers have become regular visitors in my urban garden, requiring the peanut feeder to be topped up every few days. A messy eater, the woodpecker seemed to be getting through loads of nuts at each visit but this zoomed in video shows he’s actually targetting one particular peanut quite carefully over a series of head and bill movements.
Greater spotted woodpeckers have joined other garden birds as regular feeders at the peanuts such as great tits, sparrows, blue tits, robins and starlings.