Saturday, 10 March 2012

River birds

Last year, a pair of mute swans tried to set up a nest along the river (, but unfortunately did not successfully breed .  This year, a swan has arrived, but it is on it's own.
Adult swans form partnerships for life and divorce is very rare, so either this is a new swan or last years pair have separated, possibly due to the unsuccessful breeding. 
What ever the reason it looks a somewhat sad and lonely sight as it swims solitary up and down the river.

Grey herons are occasional visitors to the river and they can be seen stood silently by the river as they look for their prey, usually small fish and amphibians, but they will also take river birds like moorhens and small mammals - including water voles 
A somewhat more unusual sight is a parrot, squawking at the top of one of the tallest trees by the river (seen Sunday 26th February):
Of course parrots are not native to the UK, but ring necked parakeet's released in the 1980's and 90's have become so numerous in the south of England - they can be seen in Hyde Park in London and Windsor Great Park - they have become a nuisance 
According to the Oxfordshire Bird Blog a ring necked parakeet was seen at the Drayton Road Allotments the next day.
With the grey head and yellow beak, it does not look like a parakeet - which have green body, head and a read beak (  , so this is may well be a recent escapee.
If it is, can it survive? The parakeets have demonstrated it is possible for exotic birds to flourish in the UK, but there is a lack of fruit on the Ock (the fieldfares and redwings have eaten it), so it will have to find a new place to squawk, and as it wasn't there last weekend, maybe it has...

1 comment:

  1. Great blog - right up my ally so to speak. So it's add to favourites and link in side bar for you me ole sailer!

    Have a good one eh