London’s Ring-necked Parakeets

People used to go to London to see the Queen or St Pauls, Big Ben or the Tower of London but, these days people go to see the Shard & the Gherkin or the London Eye …..or even the parakeets.  Yes, the parakeets!

We were in Kensington Gardens and, while we knew all about the Ring-necked parakeets that populate many of London’s parks, we were astounded at how many overseas tourists visit to see them.

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Psittacula krameri

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Romania: other wildlife

This is a round-up of some of the wildlife seen on our Naturetrek trip in Romania that haven’t featured in any of the earlier posts.  The shots below include: colourful bee-eaters, rollers and glossy ibis; new species for us – the Syrian woodpecker and Romania’s ground squirrel – the souslik; and some more regular species like the tawny pipit, fieldfare and rook.

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Merops apiaster
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Coracias garrulus
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Turdus pilaris
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Anthus campestris

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Spermophilus citellus
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Corvus frugilegus

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Romania: pelicans & cormorants

On the Danube Delta we saw hundreds of Great White Pelicans and Great Cormorants, often flocking together, plus occasional individual Dalmatian Pelicans and a handful of Pygmy Cormorants.  I captured all but the Pygmy Cormorants on camera.  The Dalmatian Pelicans are quite rare and the Danube Delta is one of the best places to see them – they look quite different to the Great Whites and the grey legs are the clearest sign in my shot – the Great White has pinkish legs.

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Pelecanus onocrotalus

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Pelecanus crispus

 

Romania: birds of prey

In Romania we saw an extraordinary number of eagles, buzzards, sparrowhawks, harriers, and falcons. I even managed to get pictures of a few.  Below you will find very average shots of a hobby and a lesser-spotted eagle, half decent shots of a red-footed falcon and pretty good shots of a white-tailed eagle.

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Hobby (Falco subbuteo)

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Lesser Spotted Eagle (Clanga pomarina)

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Red-footed Falcon (Falco vespertinus)
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White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla)

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Romania: warblers

We find it difficult to distinguish between warblers particularly when we are in a new environment.  Fortunately, with Naturetrek, you are usually surrounded by excellent birders who know exactly what you are looking at.

We had two warbler lifers on this trip.  Great Reed Warblers were regularly seen while we were on the Danube Delta – distinguished mainly by their size.

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Acrocephalus arundinaceus – Danube Delta

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Plus, at the coastal marshes near Vadu, we found several tiny Paddyfield Warblers with their distinctively strong pale stripe over the eye.

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Acrocephalus agricola – Vadu coastal marsh

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