In the last few weeks the potting shed has been used as a location to ring and record birds that have been caught in mist nets within the kitchen garden. This net is erected on the morning of catching, and is monitored throughout the morning. The birds are collected, inspected, a leg ring placed on their leg and recorded. This valuable work is utilised not only to see which bird species are visiting the gardens but also to monitor their movement, health and size.
For information on ringing see the British Trust for Ornithology
Unfortunately the gardens have this year been plagued with ring-necked parakeets and alien parrot species. The history of parakeets in the UK is unsure with a wide and diverse range of theories for their presence. Some sound more like old wives tales!
The Parakeets have been particularly interested in feeding on our sunflowers in the kitchen garden. Their voracious appetite is dislodging the majority of seeds from the sunflower heads which fall to the ground.
The parakeets arrive between 0830 and 0930 daily; their numbers range from 7 to over 70 birds. They remain as a large flock within the garden until around 1100 at which time they disband leaving a dozen birds feeding on a range of foods such as the flowers buds of the foxglove trees, the yew berries and sweet chestnut tree.