Tuesday, 10 December 2013

More hair raising!

Parrot in treeI was recently mentioned a hair raising incident that happened to me once, many years ago. And now, it's happened again!

OK, not quite the same. This time it was even more embarrassing. I was walking alone along a suburban street in broad daylight when I nearly jumped out of my skin. The reason was a very loud squawk from just behind me. The fact that I recognized the call didn't help. I turned round quickly and, after scanning in all directions, finally saw the culprit flying rapidly away. It was, as I already knew, a Ring-necked Parakeet.

As a birder, I should have spotted this large green bird which must have been very close to me when it squawked, in a place I'd just walked past. In my defence, I was day dreaming and not looking for birds. And these parrots have a habit of sitting silently and motionless in trees for lengthy periods, blending in with the foliage surprisingly well (see photo). I have examined trees before where I knew for a fact there was a bird present (having seen it fly in) and still not found them.

It would be easy to imagine someone not acquainted with these parrots reporting such an apparently mysterious incident as anomalous. They would have looked around in vain for the cause of this very loud unfamiliar noise. Even those people reasonably familiar with common birds in the UK might well not know about these parrots. They only occur in quite small areas within certain parts of the UK. Many anomalous reports are generated by people experiencing something perfectly natural yet unfamiliar to the witness. In other words, xenonormal.

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