15 May 2019

15 May 19 - A Is For Alexandrine

I was having a final look at the recent Durlston Bee-eaters, before heading home, when three silent Parakeets flew high over the Durlston Long Meadow field. I had a quick look at them with the bins & was surprised to see one was noticeably larger & longer-tailed than the others. It looked large for a Ring-necked Parakeet & so I picked up the camera to take a few photos. They circled the field once before flying back towards Swanage. Locally, Ring-necked Parakeets are a regular, but erratic sight, ever since an ex-publican of the Bankes Arms in Studland released about a dozen or so individuals when he left the area in the early 1990s. I had a quick look at one of the photos on the back of the camera. I saw two were juveniles & the long-tailed individual was an adult. It still didn't feel right, but they were only Parakeets & I assumed perhaps it was an oddly long-tailed individual, being accentuated by the two youngsters. I made a comment about the ages & thought I would have a proper look when I got home. In the end, I had forgot all about them in the few minutes it took me to get home. The following day, I saw a tweet from the country recorder, Marcus Lawson, about an Alexandrine Parakeet at Durlston & it immediately made sense. I hadn't considered other Parakeet species. When I looked at all the photos, I found a photo of the upper wing & the large red wing patch. Clearly, an Alexandrine Parakeet had been released or escaped & joined up with the local Ring-necked Parakeets.
Alexandrine Parakeet: Flying above a juvenile Ring-necked Parakeet
Alexandrine Parakeet: Alexandrine Parakeet is larger, long-tailed & heavier billed than a Ring-necked Parakeet
Alexandrine Parakeet: Had I looked at this photo, the red patch on the wing coverts and heavy red bill would have been immediately identifiable as an Alexandrine Parakeet
Alexandrine Parakeets were named after Alexander the Great. Apparently, they first brought back to Europe as exotic pets following his conquest of the Northern India.
Alexandrine Parakeet: A perched individual from Chiriyi Tapu, Andamans (22 Dec 13)