I was having a cuppa at about 17.30 (ish) today when suddenly a large flock of about 30 Ring-necked Parakeets flew up in all directions; finches, tits and other small birds also scattered as did the 10 or so feral pigeons.
"Sparrowhawk?", thought I. But no, it wasn't a Sparrowhawk but a......
Grey Heron which landed on the roof of a row of maisonettes that back onto my garden. It is not unusual for Grey Heron's to be seen so close (there are three rivers and some reservoirs not far from me) and one had already flown through the garden early this morning; although it flew at a height of about 5 feet, it didn't land in the garden on this occasion.
About 10 minutes later, there was even more drama. The Heron returned but was not to stay long. A crow took umbrage and started dive-bombing the Heron. About 10 Parakeets then circled around the Heron and a few feral Pigeons did the same.
The crow dive-bombed again and this time made contact with the Heron's head; the Heron (quite sensibly I thought) decided enough was enough and flew off through, then over, the garden, hotly pursued by Parakeets, Feral Pigeons and the Crow.
Each time the Heron landed, the noise from the Parakeets was deafening. They certainly made their screeching alarm calls heard.
High drama for a very wet dull afternoon and even more dramatic as this all took place against a backdrop of a very black rain-filled sky.
Small and Essex Skippers.
6 hours ago