More odd birds of a feather flock together

Sacred Ibis (more at home in Southern Africa) taken between showers on Amble Industrial Estate at the end of last week.''Sally Crockett'Gordon Street 'Amble

Sacred Ibis (more at home in Southern Africa) taken between showers on Amble Industrial Estate at the end of last week.''Sally Crockett'Gordon Street 'Amble

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A wave of parrot sightings has become a full-blown flap in north Northumberland, with some even stranger species now being spotted.

Eagle-eyed Gazette readers have been scanning the skies – and their back gardens – following a spate of visitations by bright green birds over the last month.

Reports have flown in from across an area stretching from the coast inland to Ponteland, of what are most likely ring-necked parakeets.

Their origin is unknown, but most likely to be from large populations in the south east of England which have gone native since their ancestors were first released decades ago.

Experts say they are slowly migrating north, although the possibility of some being escapees from local aviaries can’t be ruled out.

The latest clutch of sightings include one in Longhoughton and another – of a pair – in Warkworth, where they have apparently taken up permanent residence. And their host, Patrick Conroy, says they may even have started a family.

“The male bird was blown up this way last year in those bad winds that we had, so I f ed him some peanuts as I feed the birds every day.“ he said.

“He came back every day for about three months and then moved into the woodpecker’s hole in the tree just out the back of my garden and has been here ever since.

“About three months ago he flew off and I thought I had lost him but he fetched a mate back, who lives with him in the hole.”

Mr Conroy added: “I think they may also have eggs or chicks in that hole too.”

A parakeet was also photographed in Mrs Brewis’s garden at South End in Longhoughton.

But there have been even more unexpected visitors in Amble.

Sally Crockett, of Gordon Street, photographed a pair of sacred ibis, normally more at home in South Africa, on the town’s industrial estate.