Rose-ringed Parakeets in Manchester

The rose-ringed parakeet (Psittacula krameri, aka ring-necked parakeet) is a native of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. However feral populations now exist in many European countries including the UK. The stronghold here is in the south-east around London and the home counties, where flocks numbering in the many hundreds and sometimes thousands can occasionally be seen. Further north, the numbers are rather more modest but a few have been colonising the Manchester area in recent years. Some of these birds can be found within 5 miles or so of the Guild.

So earlier this week a couple of friends and I set out to find these ring-necked parakeets. We went to Didsbury, to Fletcher Moss Park and Stenner Woods. We made a quick circuit of the park area near the Mersey without success then headed over towards the woods. Here we heard some calls before being rewarded by our first sighting as a bird flew high overhead. Encouraged that we were in the right place we carried on round the boardwalk. A bird was calling just in front of us and as we proceeded it decided to fly off. However, instead of flying away from us it flew straight towards us and right over our heads for a very close encounter!

We were heading though the garden area behind the old church when the raucous calls alerted us to small flock of half a dozen or so parakeets. They were quite happy to sit in the trees while we watched them from quite a close distance. At one point we had 5 together in one tree. The birds were there for a good 10 minutes or so before gradually dispersing. A truly amazing sight for a suburban Manchester park.


Sitting happily at the top of the tree.


Acrobatics too!


A nice male clearly showing his rose-coloured neck ring.


A close-up view.


26 November 2014

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License