Saturday 6th April
Our second local patch is Cranford Country Park. Cranford nestles between Heathrow Airport to the north and Junction 3 of the M4 to the south. 144 acres of open parkland, woods and the remains of Cranford House and St Dunstans Church.
A sunny, blue sky morning saw me arrive at the park with the days early dog walkers and after a quick scan of the bare trees by the visitors centre I headed into the woods. The dawn chorus was well under way as I identified calls by Blackbirds, Blue Tits, Great Tits, Crows and Robin.
Constantly drowning out the traditional garden birds in both sight and sound were the “love them or hate them” Ring-necked Parakeets. Now becoming an established species in the South East of England, especially in and around London, these noisy but colourful birds are somewhat contentious as they are seen to be crowding out more traditional migrants and indigenous birds. There are no definitive scientific conclusions yet made regarding these noisy, almost luminous parrots and whatever your stance they are here to stay…for now at least.
Cranford Park certainly saw a large number of Parakeets, here we see one examining a hole in a tree for a potential nesting site:
Locations such as this would also be attractive to Green Woodpeckers or Great Spotted Woodpeckers yet the sheer numbers of Parakeets over the park would suggest that such nesting locations will be at a premium this year.