Monday, December 04, 2006

Monk Parakeets on the Isle of Dogs

Ventured down to the Isle of Dogs on the Thames yesterday, hoping for better shots of the Ring-billed Gull. While waiting for the tide to drop I took a walk around Mudchute Park and Farm. I’d heard that Monk Parakeets had been reported here and soon heard them as a flock of six zipped over. Later I was surprised to find some birds adding to/repairing a large nest structure supporting several pairs, regularly flying in with small twigs. After observing these birds for an hour or so I think prefer them to the Ring-necked Parakeets… their calls are much less raucous and at least they are not competing with native hole-nesting species - they are the only parrot species to build an external structure! I’ll be back as it will take a bit of planning/luck to obtain some photos of these mobile exotics. Down on the Thames the Ring-billed Gull appeared late by which time the tide had dropped considerably and there was some nasty, low winter light to contend with - and you don't have much option while viewing from the Thames Pathway.


DorsetDipper said...

love the photos - excellent quality.

I work on Canary Wharf so was interested in exactly where the RBG hangs out. I've read its at Lovell's Wharf but have no idea where that is. And how easy is it to park at that end of the Isle of Dogs?

Fraser Simpson said...

It's just five minutes walk from Island Gardens DLR station (but parking is easy around here too).
The bird is usually on the north side of Thames opposite Lovell's Wharf (which is on the south side).

Try the Thames footpath just north of the slipway around Glenaffric Avenue off Saunders Ness Road/Manchester Road. Best time is probably from one hour after high tide - the gulls usually feed on the exposed shoreline.

Map here:,+London,+E_14&searchp=newsearch.srf&mapp=newmap.srf

Hope you find it...