Swapping needles for lenses

How glorious to go out and about with the camera again. All Neha’s idea, and a superb one. Despite the gloomy weather, damp chill and dull light not only did we not get rained on, we also saw sights of tropical brilliance which cheered the eye, warmed the heart and generally brought a glow to the day.

bold peacock

There were peacocks! scritching, scratching around in the damp earth, bounding over fences and, best of all, utterly silent.


None of the adult males gave us a full-on tail display but even folded and trailing along the ground the colours, patterns, sheen, all are breathtaking.

This shyer male was preening under the shade of a large holly bush. It must be rather exhausting dragging that train around even if individually its components are, er, light as a feather.

shy peacock

Round a couple of corners, into a formal garden and there, hanging from a pair of bird feeders, were enough parakeets to be defined as a flock. We played a cautious game of “how close can we get before you fly away” but luckily they only went as far as the branches above if we disturbed their equanimity.

bugger off and let me eat

Neha’s description of the parakeets is so much better than anything I could say.

oy I got here first

Now obviously they’re pretty birds. But they were utterly monopolising the feeders and large numbers of other species were left hanging around, hungry. Their days in the UK may be numbered since they threaten native species.

Ecologist Tony Drakeford said: “They are very pretty and exotic birds but are having a serious impact on our woodland tree-crevice nesters.

“There is no rightful place or ecological niche for these birds.”

“Something needs to be done with immediate effect but the options are complicated. In the past we have managed to control the rapid growth of other wild animals. With Canada geese we pricked the eggs to prevent offspring and with grey squirrels we dished out the birth-control pill. But these types of solution just won’t work for the parakeet. There will be a tremendous outcry if we cull them but it may be our only hope.”

Grey squirrels on the pill? it doesn’t appear to have worked particularly well.

The day’s pictures are here.

7 Replies to “Swapping needles for lenses”

  1. marja-leena – you’re so right! Imagine rr in the Austenesque cuddling up the dazzling blue peacock on her lap. However strange that balancing act maybe! And I will weep if these birds are culled. 😦

  2. Great photos! Loved all the ones in the set. What’s with the ‘kill the rodents’?! Pertaining to an off-blog discussion, hm?

  3. m-l and Neha, I’ve just washed my ancient green wool coat (it didn’t shrink – phew) because some audacious bird had crapped on the shoulder. The stress involved in this process was marked. Imagine how much worse it would be were a bird the size of a peacock to defecate on my silky Austenesque!

    leslee, my aversion to grey squirrels is long-standing because they’re an non-native (American in fact) species driving our native (and, imho, gorgeous) red squirrels to the edge of extinction. But also I like to tease Neha who is a bunny (and squirrel) hugging vegetarian of delicate sensibilities.

  4. Marble Hill Park near where we used to live was full of these green screechy creatures too! We got so used to them tho at first they seemed utterly incongruous. The population apparently spawned from escapee caged birds…

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