On Sunday 15th January, we thought we had two new visitors. Two ring necked Parakeets swooped down into the trees for a couple of minutes and were immediately seen off by the crows and sea gulls. We thought it was a new sighting for the pond but on reflection, I understand there are a couple of parakeets roosting on the hill. Perhaps they where just checking out the area. Anyway, this is the first time that they have come this far.
The Ring Necked Parakeet are now recognised as a garden bird after being introduced from India in the 1970’s.
But you never know………
Parrots – particularly parakeets – have now become familiar sights in the south-east and as close as Reading. There have been reports that there could now be 20,000 wild parrots, including parakeets, living in England, with the largest concentration around London and the South East.
The population boom has been put down to a series of mild winters, a lack of natural predators, food being available from humans and that there are now enough parrots for a wider range of breeding partners.
First Bird list for Saintbridge Balancing Pond compiled by Paul Brunt.
On the birding front here is the list of species for this week
2 Herring Gulls, 2 Mute Swans, 20 mallards,, 60+ Black-Headed Gulls,3 male and 38 female Teal, 10+ Moorhens, Garden birds consists of Wren, Robin, Carrion Crow, Magpie,, Great Tits, Blue Tits, & Long-tailed Tits.
Paul Brunt BSc, has complied a record of the various bird species that can be found around Saintbridge. Checkout the documents below.
With many thanks to Paul for his dedication and on-going commitment to the project.
Over the next month, we will be clearing the woodland walk of the scrub to open up the broad areas under the trees. We will be having an open day on the 20th November with various activities so why not come along and have a chat with us.
Green Flag Preparation
On Sunday 22nd May, the Friends of Saintbridge Pond were getting ready for the second Green Flag visit which is taking place on Thursday 26th May 2016. The Green Flag Award® scheme recognises and rewards the very best green spaces in the U.K.
The aim was to clear away the remaining man-made detritus from around the margins, including, old mattresses, carpets and metal which had sunk and remained in the silt for several months.
Also along one of the paths, rotting vegetation was removed from the water to allow more marginal, plants to take hold and create a better environment for small insects to breed. This will become a natural food source for the ducks and other wildfowl.
All the silt traps were cleared and with the new path barriers in place, we are looking forward to the visit.
For more information on the Green Flag Scheme visit http://www.greenflagaward.org.uk
Over the last week, numerous signs have been appearing around the pond. The City Council, who we work in partnership with, have placed these new signs at the main feeding places around the margins of the site for visitor information.
The Pond is a beautiful site but there are many fallacies about feeding bread to ducks. We have listed some below. Just because it has been the ‘norm’ to keep feeding wildfowl this source of fast food, we urge you to think before buying a loaf of bread.
THREE REASONS NOT TO FEED BREAD TO THE DUCKS
Bread has very little nutritional value, it makes ducks bloated and they don’t eat enough natural food. Too much bread can even cause wing deformities (angel-wing). Ducklings cannot digest this food source efficiently.
Bread attracts rats and seagulls (putting eggs and ducklings at risk). Mouldy bread makes ducklings very ill.
Leftover bread pollutes the water, causing harmful bacteria and algae to grow.
With that in mind, we suggest the following –
SUITABLE FOOD FOR DUCKS
Bird seed, mixed corn, other grains, duck feed pellets, chopped lettuce or other salad leaves, rice (uncooked and cooked) and defrosted frozen peas.
All can be placed at or near the water’s edge for the waterfowl to treat themselves.
After just one visit to the pond, one loaf of bread produced this much waste and pollution. None of the ducks ate it !!!!
On Sunday last the team were moving earth to Skylark Way to create a new wild flower bed on the remains of the old hedgerow. Everybody worked really really hard and we’re looking forward to seeing the results in the summer when the flowers bloom!
Thanks to Ken for supplying the flower seeds.
Also on Sunday Tony spoke to five members of the public who brought bread to feed the ducks and under the ‘Seed Swap Initiative’ bread was swapped for seed to the ducks. This is a new on-going project to reduce bread pollution to around twenty percent. Look out for us on work party days, and please remember not to bring bread to the pond.
Here is an overview of what Friends of Saintbridge Pond FOSP has been up to till January 2016.
As you follow us, look out for better improvements in and around the pond and our showcase allotments on a daily basis.
FOSP Media Team