White cheeks in Wanstead

 [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
White-cheeked turaco, as photographed by I, Chrumps
Wansteadium rarely ventures into the world of our feathered friends. (Visits from a swarm of parakeets are an exception.) But longtime reader Gavin Bell has uncovered an interesting tale.

Spotting an unusual-looking bird in Aldersbrook some years ago, he made a mental note. He’s seen it again a few times over the past few years, and again this week. Thanks to @wansteadbirder, it’s been identified as a white-cheeked turaco.

According to Wikipedia, the bird is native to Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia and Eritrea. But it records that a single bird was recorded “living wild in east London (Leytonstone and South Woodford)… in October 2009”.

It continues:  “It has survived the climate and potential predators for at least four years and appears to be living in harmony with native species. It’s believed to be an escaped or released pet. Sightings in gardens have continued to delight Londoners into late May 2014. In 2014 another bird (or the same one who fancied a change of scenery perhaps?) has been sighted in Langton Green, Kent and has caused much interest to the residents, being featured in the village magazine.”

Special treat

Just for old time’s sake, and since we’re in the mood, here is our video from the summer of 2014 of the Wanstead Parakeet Club in full throat. It’s not strictly relevant.

(If you’re looking on an iPhone, you’ll need to click here to watch the video.)

1 thought on “White cheeks in Wanstead”

  1. He spent all of summer and most of Autumn in my garden watching over my hens and attempting to woo them! Trouble is, they are not keen on him. Poor thing.

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