The Greenfinch Tree?

The Greenfinch Tree?
Every morning, at about 7am without exception, I see several bright green birds. They’re perched in the trees opposite the Everest Inn. I’ve tried to take photos of them, but my camera phone is rubbish, and they’re too quick. Does anyone know what they are? Domestic parrots that have escaped and gone feral? Greenfinches? Please let me know!
European_Greenfinch_male_female from Wikipedia
(Greenfinch photo from Wikipedia).

19 Comments

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19 responses to “The Greenfinch Tree?

  1. I know for sure there are parakeets living in the area – many of them nest in Greenwich Park. They’re loud and usually congregate in groups of 5 or more… not sure if that’s what you’re seeing?

  2. Tracy Gunn

    I’m not completly sure where you mean but from your description I’m guessing they’re probably the Ring Necked Parakeets that are slowly taking over the whole of Greenwich park and South East London.

    They’re pretty noisy, bright green from head to toe with a red beak. Normally in groups, hardly ever on their own – sound right?

    http://www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/birdguide/name/r/ringneckedparakeet/

    • Sounds just like Parakeets. We used to get them in our garden in Lee quite often. There is a huge flock of them that roost in the Poplars in Hither Green cemetery and take little jaunts over to the Grove Park Nature Reserve.

  3. Matt

    I often see the Parakeets in Greenwich park and have seen them fly over our garden in Blackheath over the summer. The are noisy but quite beautiful.

  4. Yup, parakeets. They’ve been round our way, in Foxes Dale, for about seven or eight years, maybe longer. I used to have a print-out of an academic paper about their spread. A few years ago they were mainly round Twickenham, then spread to Norwood cemetery and a few other spots, then reached Blackheath around the millennium. In the last year or two they’ve been moving north to Greenwich Park, but I haven’t seen them north of the river yet.

    • Interesting! If you find the paper, please let me know.

      • Can’t find the paper, and the original web address no longer works. But I think it’s the same people who have set up http://www.projectparakeet.co.uk/ which is a research project at Imperial College London. They’re doing a census and are asking people to have squirrelproof birdfeeders in their gardens so they can study the parakeets and their effect on other birds. Contact parakeet@imperial.ac.uk to volunteer your garden (but see the website first).
        There’s a distribution map, which doesn’t mention Blackheath or Greenwich, but does show somewhere called Sutcliffe in about the right place — I assume Sutcliffe Park.

  5. Steve

    Yes there are definitely plenty of parakeets in Greenwich Park so I would imagine that’s what they are. According to the BBC, Greenwich is one of London’s ‘Parrot hotspots’!

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/3869815.stm

  6. They (or close relations) have crossed the river and can also be found in Mudchute Park. Details and pic here http://lifecyclist.wordpress.com/2009/04/17/north-by-northwest/

  7. Anonymous

    Screaming away outside my window as I type. Noisy sods congregate every morning and evening to feast on whatever nuts are growing in the tree. Thankfully, they miss me out the rest of the year as they migrate to and from their roost in Hither Green Cemetery to Greenwich Park.

    All sortsa stories on where they originated but I got one from a fellow imbiber in the Crown a few years ago. His dad kept them in an aviary somewhere in the area. When he died, the cage was opened to let them free and nature has taken its course.

    I think they are classed as an alien species threatening British birds and can be eliminated with impunity. Anyone up for a day’s shooting on the Heath? :)

    • parakeet

      yup, happy to take a pot shot at you anytime.

      Viva the parakeets. Without them, we just have crows , pigeons and magpies.
      Collectively they’re about as much fun and lovely as Wayne Rooney.

      • Anonymous

        Still waiting for you to follow up your invitation. Shotguns at dawn OK? Or do you need time to discover which end to hold?

  8. marmoset

    If it’s down to a choice between greenfinch and parakeet, the easiest way to tell them apart is by ear. The RSPB gives an example of the greenfinch song here – http://www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/birdguide/name/g/greenfinch/index.aspx – the parakeet seems incapable of doing anything anything but screech ”I’m in this tree but you can’t see” or ”look, look, look, I’m on the wing and doing my flying thing.”

    Obviously there are other ways of telling them apart – parakeets are larger and, in flight, their tails taper to a point (more fan-like when they’re landing) but it’s the noise parakeets make which is the most distinctive.

  9. Dave

    I can report Parakeets in Maryon Wilson Park, Hanging Wood and the back-gardens of Charlton between the top and lower roads. Just like Goldfinches (of which we get many) they always move in numbers for safety.

  10. Matt

    They are very prominent in Sidcup and Footscray too. Have been for the last ten years at least. I had a feeling they orginated from these areas. I heard a story of someone importing them a letting a flock escape but could be wrong.

  11. Blackheath Bird

    I saw my first wild parakeets in Windsor Park on Boxing Day 1968 and they’ve been steadily moving eastwards ever since. Go google if you don’t believe me, and anyway the sainted David Attenborough concurs. There are lots of them around Blackheath but rumour has it they have yet to cross the M25.

  12. Sent to Coventry

    Went to Grove Park cemetery yesterday and could not believe my ears. A couple of birds were making a loud distinctive sound I have only heard in a pet shop. Imagine my amazement when I turned around only to see to Large brightly green coloured parrot type birds with long tail feathers.

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