Little treasures: #3 Brockley parrots


There are green parrots in Brockley. We don't know why.

Thanks to the prolific JPM for the photo.

46 comments:

The Cat Man said...

Are these on Manor Road? Do they qualify for membership of the USC?

All good questions!

btw: very pretty.

jpm said...

If they do qulify it's pretty folly.
(Sorry about that.)

Alas I cannot accept praise for this one. My neighbour Trevor took it. There's three of them flying around Manor 'Avenue'. It was called Manor 'Road' prior to 1939, and was changed due to war. [Apparently, like the parrots, there were three. It made no differnce to Gerry, as the road was repeatedly hit.)

Anonymous said...

Why would war make you want to change a street name?

I see on the old maps Ivy Road is Ivy Lane - presumably it got tarmacced over and lost its Lane status!

Hilly Fields and the surrounding area is just that of course - all fields. Almost pre-conservation area - what a thought!

Those parrots look tasty, might snare one and see if Morleys can fry it up for me.

Headhunter said...

Those parrots are all over south and possibly north London now. I saw something online a while back about how they started in SW London, round Richmond I think, and have then spread. There was a debate whether to organise a cull, as apparently like many non-indigenous species they are pretty invasive to the detriment of local birds (just like the American ladybirds that have swamped Brockley and the Grey Squirrel, these species are often more successful than our own varieties. Oh damn we're onto immigration again...).

JPM - I knew that Manor Ave was Manor Rd before 1939, but I'm interested by what you say about the war being the reason the name was changed. You say there were 3 - 3 what? Manor Roads?

drakefell debaser said...

The falconry guy from Brockley max should be invited back with his Peregrine.

There was the suggestion that they first escaped from a container at Heathrow so as to explain why hundreds of green parrots where suddenly flying around Kew Gardens and Richmond and not India but I think that was discredited. They are common in the depths of Surrey and Kent as well now - anywhere where there are nice big trees really which is why they obviously like Brockley and its surroundings.

I blame globalisation.

Headhunter said...

I first saw one when I lived in Catford back in oooh, must've been 2000/2001. I remember seeing it fly overhead and thinking that someone had lost their pet parrot and wondering if I should call the RSPCA. Nowadays you see them flying in large groups (not sure what the correct collective noun is).

BTW has anyone seen Green Woodpeckers in Brockley? I caught on feeding from my bird feeder a while back

Anonymous said...

More immigrants - I bet they make noise at all hours

The Cat Man said...

Bah, don't get me started on globalisation - products, people, ideas etc.. its all to the determinent of the long term success of the uk! rah!

Anyway, where have all the bumble bees gone? :o(

Tressilliana said...

Very, very occasionally we've seen a woodpecker either on Hilly Fields or in our back garden. Slightly less rarely we've heard one but not seen it. We've also (on a very, very few occasions) seen a small bird of prey perched on branches or on top of lamp-posts in Hilly Fields.

I think the parakeets arrived in Brockley a couple of years ago. I don't remember seeing any locally before that, but apparently they'd been established in Ladywell for a while.

jpm said...

Yes, three Manor 'roads'. When war broke out the council changed the names (1939).

Manor Avenue got a few hits as the Luftwaffe returned on bombing runs, which is why you see new house there. They flew over and bombed various houses up to and beyond Hilly Fields on a south- east trajectory.

Headhunter said...

JPM - I see, but it doesn't sound like they changed the name because of war, merely at the same time as the start of the war, for practical reasons

13:24 said...

Are these definately parrots (Macaws)? I have a feeling that they might be the famous London parakeets which I've heard in the last couple of evenings. Big budgies, basically.

If parakeets, then the story as I heard it, is that the originals were used in a film, shot at Shepperton sometime in the seventies. Having escaped (ironic if a second World War film!), they found the climate similar to home (non-tropical species, possibly from a mountainous/alpine like region), and started to breed with gay abandon. They've spread slowly east over the last 30 years or so, and have now reached the Thames Estuary.

I remember watching a BBC London TV magazine programmme about them a couple or so years back.

Lewisham Wayward said...

I think 13:24's right - if they are parakeets, I've seen them in Greenwich Park (ironically when showing a chinese visitor around who wanted to see "British" wildlife). I've also seen them in Friendly Gardens once or twice (my flat overlooks it), but obviously have decided Manor Ave's a bit more salubrious. Dunno what they've got against Deptford...

Brockley Kate said...

They also live in Kew, I've seen them outside my mum's flat.

Tressilliana said...

Definitely parakeets, but Wikipedia says parakeets are a species of parrot, as are budgies. I didn't know that. The things you learn on Brockley Central!

max said...

http://www.brooklynparrots.com/

Twinning?

Lanky1 said...

They fly over the Blythe Hill Tavern at 6.43pm most nights (subject to train delays obviously), and there's a colony in Hither Green Cemetery.

Anonymous said...

A Google search found this article from the BBC:

Parakeet 'threat' to native birds

Parakeet numbers could reach 50,000 by 2010
The rapid growth of the parakeet population may pose a threat to other birds, authorities have said.
There are about 30,000 of the bright green rose-ringed parakeets in London, with more in Surrey and Kent, and their numbers could reach 50,000 by 2010.

Increasing flocks will compete with native birds, such as woodpeckers and robins, for food and nesting space.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) said it had not ruled out a cull as a "last resort".

The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has commissioned a study into the parakeet threat.

We do see a cull as a last resort, something only to be considered if a native species were to be under threat

RSPB spokesman


Why do parakeets thrive here?

RSPB spokesman Tim Webb said: "People are starting to have concerns about the numbers.

"We are not sure what sort of numbers they would have to grow to before becoming a problem but we are aware that they are growing.

"We do see a cull as a last resort, something only to be considered if a native species were to be under threat."

The RSPB has said that there is a single roost of 6,000 birds in Esher, Surrey.

Natural England, the licensing body for bird culls, said they would usually be killed by shooting, or possibly trapping.

Originally from India, the rose-ringed parakeet has been in Britain for decades, although it is unclear how it was first introduced.

13:24 said...

Re the woodpeckers. Used to get woken by a number of them in the summer. (My flat effectively overlooks the cemetery.) An idyllic sound, and makes me feel as if I'm living in the middle of a wood.

Tend to change my tune though, when the b*$t*rds are having a go at my wooden soffits.

nobbly brick said...

Have seen both the green and black and white woodpeckers in my garden, which could be deemed the 'ermine/vicars hill triangle", indeed I have two perfectly circular holes in an apple tree in the garden, one of which I saw being bored out by a woodpecker over the course of a few days, but it has never made a home in the tree (blue tits have used the hole). Have also seen a bat from time to time.

Tamsin said...

They've been around for years. There is a massive colony in I think Beckenham Place that flies over Downham at dusk. Horribly noisy.

There are quite a few in Telegraph Hill Park as well now and they are a right nuisance - secateurs on wings. The damage they do to the trees is incredible.

Hugh said...

I've seen loads in London. They've been wild and breeding for decades.

tj said...

Seen woodpeckers in my garden in Tressillian - including a lesser spotted.

The Parakeets are everywhere - and enjoyed stripping off the buds of the cherry tree outside my place this spring - resulting in a lack of blossom. Suppose they have to eat but...c'mon guys

Tamsin said...

It's not so much what they eat (yes, everyone's got to live) as what they just tear off and drop. They're as destructive as goats.

(To go cross-threaded - there's a thing to keep in your garden and annoy your neighbours!)

Tamsin said...

It's not so much what they eat (yes, everyone's got to live) as what they just tear off and drop. They're as destructive as goats.

(To go cross-threaded - there's a thing to keep in your garden and annoy your neighbours!)

jon s said...

Those parakeets remind me of the huge flocks of galahs and cockatoos from Aus. You only get the budgies in the bush. :)

Maybe the parakeets will be like many brits from immigrant stock on the asian subcontinent. Set up mid sized firms that export their dropping globally. It would fit in with the whole downturn and globalisation trends!

Anonymous said...

Budgies in the bush? Sounds nasty... I saw a woman in the organic shop who I would've sworn had something similar.

drakefell debaser said...

it's a shame Parakeets don't have much meat on them else they could be a handy substitute for chicken. Southern Fried Parrot or Dixie Parakeet? There is a credit crunch after all.

Anonymous said...

Favorite Fried Finch.

drakefell debaser said...

I am sure if Eternal Jerk was still going you would find a grilled menagerie of delights on offer. Fried Finch definitely along with it’s more colourful cousin, Charred Chaffinch. With lettuce and some Reggae Reggae Sauce of course.

Anonymous said...

Rice and pea for the bloke with 2 cats and a slight lisp ;-)

drakefell debaser said...

slight lisp? Interesting...Oh and don't forget the Red Stripe to wash it all down.

The Cat Man said...

I still miss the bumble bee :o(

Anonymous said...

Who's the bumble bee?

Cat, any chance of an update to the Brockley Trollograph anytime soon?

The Cat Man said...

I havn't focused on the Brockley Trollegraph recently.

I do have a few thoughts though so will post something in the next few weeks.

The bumble bee, its not a person but the insect that used to be prevailant in the UK. Its in decline, my cats are very unhappy :o(

anon who said I had a slight lisp, have we met? And I didn't know I had a lisp...!

Anonymous said...

Ah, the great british bumble bee. With clotted cream, of course.

The lisp? Ah well, I just kinda... assumed

Anonymous said...

Though Nick might make it seem so, blogging isn't easy.

The Cat Man said...

Why would you assume I have a lisp?

Blogging is good fun, but its really the appreciation of the people viewing the blog that spurs the blogger on to blog.

I have a few ideas to post soon!

Anonymous said...

Cat man, I am sure if you look on the right web pages you'll discover that the decline in bumble bees is in direct proportion to the increase in immigration levels.

Anonymous said...

bit like the swans eh?...

Ralph said...

Yup. Parakeets - and you won't feel very gooey about them after they have stripped the green buds off your spring shrubs and trees. If we really want history - one urban myth is that Jimi Hedndrix lost a pair from his flat in Soho - but the truth is a massive colony at Esher Rugby Club ... and I used to see them in Kelsey Park, Beckenham, in the late 70s / early 80s. Definitely not to be encouraged.

Anonymous said...

The Truth about the parrots (my parrots)

Dear All, the truth about the paroquetes is as follow. There once was an avery at Kew Gardens or somewhere round there that was destroyed by the hurricane back whenever it was in the early 90's or late 80's. Due to climatisation with the local annual temperatures etyc thees plucky little fellows were able to survive the winters etc and made a new home for themselves in Richmond Park and round Hampton Way. It was around about this time that I was hanging round in that part of town. Since then they have, much to everyones amazement, bred rather than die off as was originally thought, have spread their wings so to speak and are now in various parts of London. Their presence in South London is mainly my doing as they follow me where ever I move, they are my paroquetes see. When I moved to Peckam they followed me here and now I am in Brockley they are here too. When I was working on Kew, they used to hang out outside my office window. I now work in Shepherd's Bush an can often here them squalking away at me.

13:24 said...

Or for the slightly less unhinged version from the Oxford University Project Parakeet circa 2000:

"It might be worth noting that the first documented breeding of Ring-necked Parakeets in Britain was in 1855 in Norfolk. Small populations were intermittently present in the Greater London area for the next century and the first documented breeding of the twentieth century occurred at Gravesend, Kent in 1969. It was added to the official British List in 1983 as a Class C (established exotic). By 1986, it was estimated that the population was around 1000 birds. By 1998, there were an estimated 1500-2000 birds. The population since then has exploded. This winter, I counted 2,764 birds at the Esher Rugby Club. At the Lewisham (formerly Hither Green) Cemetery, there were 621 birds this winter, a dramatic increase over the estimated 200 birds that were present in 1998.

Also:

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/nature/invasion-of-the-parakeets-441304.html

Tons of (conflicting?) info to be found by Googling, of course, if you can be arsed.

Anonymous said...

Do they keep themselves warm through winter by pecking away at chunks of their deep fried cousins that line Brockley Road, either side of Morleys?

Headhunter said...

Looks like the parakeets like other non-indigenous species are now more successful in the UK due to the lack of cold winters which would have probably previously prevented them from breeding in high numbers. Now that we don't get much snow or even frost they survive in bigger numbers.

Has anyone noticed that there seem to be a lot more mosquitoes in the summer too? I started burning those coil things to keep them away. I think they do well in the warm, wet summers we have now.

Anonymous said...

I saw one of the parakeets on Sunday in my back garden (St Margarets Rd) - first time I'd seen one in Brockley. They are very pretty.

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