A text message I received at 11.19am, from the Suffolk BINS bird information service stating that Ring -necked Parakeet was "in hand @ Carlton Res Centre now, being processed 2 b released at 11.45am", meant action stations as we had to get down their quickly!
Jenny drove me to the Reserve centre with 5 minutes to spare, and I saw Steve P handling this bird, a female Ring- necked Parakeet. The female's plumage doesn't sport the rose- coloured ring around her neck, unlike the male's "bling-ier" plumage.
The Ring- necked Parakeet is an introduced bird to the UK, being originally a native of SE Asia & Central Africa. The bird had escaped from County estate landowners collections of exotic birds and have found the UK very much to their liking and big flocks of them can be seen in parts of London and the South- east.
In East Anglia they are still a scarcely seen bird, although several have been seen in recent years including one viewed from our present garden!
The bird was bloodied, not from her capture or subsequent ringing, but from her attacks on Steve's hand and Mr P had to don gardening gloves for better protection! She had a powerful bill that she was prepared to use! Consequently her vent and undertail coverts were stained with Steve's blood.
This Parakeet had been caught in Steve's garden in Bungay and we had very little time to take pictures as guidelines state that caught birds need to be released within an hour of capture.
But I was grateful for this all to rare opportunity to get close pics of this exotic visitor.
Steve brought the bird outside to be ringed and we (Andrew E, Robert W, Roy H, James B & Derek B- our esteemed Chairman) were able to get a few pics in the 2 minutes that we were allowed, before her subsequent release.
A look in the field west of Burnt Hill Lane revealed 14 Egyptian Geese but the Pink- foot appears to have gone. Next stop was Ashburnham way in Carlton Colville by the bus stop,which was already full of birders (including Roger C, Richard W & later Chris M) where we saw an adult male Waxwing feeding voraciously off a particularly berry laden bush in a lady's back garden. The bird was reasonably confiding but seen in poor light, until one of our number ventured to close and the Waxwing flew back into a dense scrub.
The bird returned as we saw the Waxwing again on the bush at 4.10pm on our return from Southwold. A Fieldfare was also seen later in a berry tree by the junction of Hollow Lane and Beccles road.
At Southwold, I eventually saw the Pink- footed Geese on the Town Marshes, initially seen in flight from the Harbour/ Golf course road, I initially counted 9, when we drove round to view 500 yards west of the harbour I counted 10 feeding by the grassy edge of a pool on the extreme northern end of the marsh.
In Southwold Churchyard, a Fieldfare fed in another berry laden tree.