Ring-necked Parakeets finally arrived in our garden, and in particular the Pear Tree, near the end of 2011.
They now visit daily, one pair in particular visits regularly, the biggest count being seven.
Being an avid birdwatcher, I anticipated their arrival with enthusiasm, my earliest encounter back in the 1990s was a brief flyover at St Marys hospital, Sidcup and then at Foots Cray meadows where there seemed to be flourishing population.
They soon spread to Hall Place and Martins Grove around the Bexley area.
On the tedious journey to East London where I worked and the inevitable traffic jam on the A2 motorway, I used to mentally bird watch and note the spread of the parakeets down the motorway, noting where the fly-over's were. Falconwood, Blackfen , Bexley, Dartford, finally there raucous calls were heard overhead from the garden in Northfleet.
There is no better sight than to pull back the curtains on a sunny morning, when the trees are in leaf, the hanging baskets and shrubs are in flower, and the pear tree alive with Parakeets and there incessant calling to each other, that's about as exotic as North Kent will ever be.
The spread of the Ring- necked parakeet continues but now there's talk of culling the parakeet population, I believe the Monk parakeet populations in Borehamwood and the Isle of Dogs have already attracted the attention of DEFRA.
Enjoy the wildlife while you can, before we lose it all.