I was amazed and very pleased to glance out of the kitchen window on Boxing day morning and see this fantastic, exotic looking Ring Necked Parakeet on the garden feeders. It's appearance seemed even more bizarre against the white snow still covering a lot of the garden. It wasn't until I'd taken a couple of pictures through the patio doors that I noticed a second one on the feeder on the other side of the garden. After a short while they flew into a large tree next door and preened for a while before disappearing, only to return again an hour or so later.
I'm sure for a lot of people this has become quite a common sight, but it's a first for me, I haven't seen one of these at all in my area and it quite made my Boxing day, I just hope they come back soon.
I had a couple of hours at New Hythe this morning, there have been a lot of good birds seen in the last few days and I was keen to add a new species before the end of the year. Unfortunately I didn't manage it but I added a new bird to the month's list in the shape of a couple of Wigeon on the river, which brings the December list to 67.
I spent most of the time trying to locate a Firecrest which has been reported for the second time lately, I was joined in the search by Den & Doreen but we only managed to find a Goldcrest, nice to see as ever but I couldn't help feeling a bit disappointed that it wasn't the elusive Firecrest.
Other birds seen included a Great Black backed Gull heading upstream. A Sparrowhawk hunting in the Sunken marsh, a Green Sandpiper first spotted by Dennis on the exposed riverside mud. A Green Woodpecker, also in the Sunken Marsh and a single Mistle Thrush along the railway track.
I was surprised to see that the small stretch of open water on Abbey Mead lake was entirely deserted, not even a Coot on it. I was hoping to see the Red head Smew there so that was a disappointment, but I did see a couple of female Goldeneye fly upriver as compensation.