Parakeet. Yes the Ponteland Ring necked Parakeet paid a visit to Prestwick Carr this evening. Only last week Ponteland Historian asked me if I had seen the bird as it was visiting his garden in Prestwick to lunch on Horse chestnut buds. I responded just once on the Carr near the golf course on its daily commute between Ponteland and Prestwick. I've seen it numerous times in Ponteland, generally near Bell Villas where I know a certain lady feeds it grapes. But then two weeks ago I was informed by an eminent Prestwick resident that the bird was turning its nose up at his offering of Bramley Apples!
On my count last Saturday a passing cyclist told me of a bird he thought he had seen but he couldn't quite believe it. Thinking he meant the eagle I responded only to find out he was from the deep south, Kent, and had seen a Parakeet just north of Dinnington so the bird, if it is the one bird, is ranging more widely.
In previous years it has roosted in the transcept window of St Mary's Church in Ponteland and has been known to 'serenade' the drinkers in the Blackbird pub during summer months. It has survived the harsh winter and to my knowledge been around for at least three years, initially being fed then by the owner at S Fix in Prestwick who even put a box up for it, subsequently usurped by Starlings. It appears now to feel somewhat at home.
The question is ....can I call it a tick? I think yes. Those who disagree make the appropriate Parakeet noises.