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Thursday, 15 March 2012

Red Kites and Green Parakeets

There’s nothing like a good walk to get you ready for a good walk and there has been nothing like a good walk for ages. As today’s weather was glorious, it was time to put the plimmies on and head off out..

First stop was the Carpenters Arms in Windsor for a well kept pint of Doom Bar. Second stop, just two minutes after leaving the Carpenters, was the Two Brewers for a pint of Tribute. I had a choice of either “This Bar” or “That Bar”. Difficult. I chose “This”. Two wonderful beers from the southwest and I was set up for the next ten miles to  wander through the Great Park back to home.

Tribute in "This Bar," The Two Brewers

As it was a weekday, the Long Walk was quiet.

Looking back down the Long Walk

I cut a slight corner off my normal walk and headed off down the Gallop to be entirely free of the great unwashed and was rewarded by a flurry of green parakeets, which I am ashamed to say I couldn’t capture as they whizzed up on me from behind and shot off before I could get my camera out of my pocket… Ho hum… Still, it was at the ready for the next pair of visitors:

Red Kite Windsor Great Park

Red Kite 2: Windsor Great Park

They were a long way up – sorry the pictures are a bit blurred! The last time I came this way there were six kites circling overhead. The Great Park is wonderfully full of them.

At various points along the way there are indicators next to trees telling you how old they are. I particularly like this one: I really like the “about”…

"About" 1741

Then it’s a delightful stroll past some fancy gates and the racecourse to home. Ten miles and no passes.

Racecourse Gates

Grandstand

20 comments:

  1. I was interested to read about your pint in the Carpenters Arms in Market Street Windsor. That used to be my local many years ago. I lived next door to the pub in a flat above a jewellers shop (immediately behind the Guildhall). I used to have many a walk in the Park and also along the river to Maidenhead from there. I was living there when the Backpackers Club was formed. Thanks for bringing back some long forgotten memories Alan.

    -Trevor

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    1. It *is* a small world! It looks like it's part of a chain now (Nicholson's?) but it's still a great little boozer. They seem to do quite a bit of food now; that's why I headed off to the Two Brewers, as it seemed less "foody." I like pubs to be pubs, not restaurants. Just my thing. I realise that pubs need the food business to survive, and all, but...
      *sigh...*

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  2. A couple of pints, a sunny walk and red kites - sounds like a magnificent day out. Did you get round to treating yourself to a new camera?

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    1. The new camera is on my list of things to sort out.. Still using my 6 year old box brownie...
      :-)
      Would rather spend the money on going places and beer.

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  3. It was a grand day for a pint (or two) and a stroll yesterday, once the mist had burned away. I lose ages most days watching the kites circling above my place of work (last photo). You walked right past my house. Maybe I could join you one day although next week I shall be on the Cotswold Way.

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    1. That's a regular walk of mine. I love Windsor, and the Great Park's trees & wildlife enthrals.

      Drop me your email address & I 'll let you know when I'l be passing next!

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  4. Real ale and sunshine. You're so lucky Alan! I want some of that.

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    1. I could do with some of your Offa's Dyke jaunts too... You are doing it in reverse to my walk and it's interesting to see your take on it.
      I wonder if all the pubs are still open; Quite a few were thinking of shutting back in 2007. So sad!

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  5. Six year old box brownie or not they're still good shots - particularly after a couple of pints. :)

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    1. As they were circling over head, vulture-like, I was in danger of toppling over backwards.
      Though, that might have been due to the Doom Bar & Tribute...

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  6. Hi Alan, it is amazing how Red Kites have come back from near extinction to a common sight in Southern England. I hear the authorities will be looking to make green parakeets extinct as they are an alien species under some proposed new legislation - pity they can't include wind turbines in that new legislation:)

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    1. I think that with climate change there's a fair chance we'll have some other species becoming resident in the UK - it will be a pity lose the parakeets though. Do they do other species any harm, I wonder?

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    2. Red Kites eh? Now you are talking my language!

      Nice read here Alan, thanks. As for the Parakeets, they do outcompete other species for nesting sites, but as they tend to communally roost other species tend only to be affected very locally. That's not to say that these green dudes won't be very successful and BECOME a problem.

      My take is that this INVASION is a natural one, in that we humans are as natural as a hummingbird and are part of the ecosystem. Introducing species to new habitats is just our contribution to the world.

      Humans being who they are then try to clean up the mess they made (Red Kite reintroduction - success, or introduction of Cane Toads to Australia - failure) and change the ecosystem further.

      I say let the conservationists try to get rid of them, and the animal right-ivists try to protect them. It makes sod all difference and we can all enjoy seeing Ring-necked Parakeets behaving naturally whilst the debate is being had.

      Make the most of them!

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    3. I had better get the camera at the ready then, if we are going to wipe these little critters out!

      I wonder if they are eating the sparrows; they seem to be disappearing...

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  7. I wonder if they are eating the sparrows; they seem to be disappearing...

    That will be our cat! :)

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  8. Good to see the belly training is in full swing Al. Should be perfect by May!
    So when you getting out doing some "Ups" then.

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    1. "Ups" are a rare thing down here in the Thames Valley - but it's nowhere near as bad as where I used to live on the edge of the Fens!

      We usually plan a "PreWalkDaunder" somewhere hilly a couple of weeks prior to the TGO Challenge, but at the moment possible hospital appointments are clattering into this time, so it might be a last minute plan to get out to the hills when I know the hospital schedule.

      Failing that, it will be off to the Great Park again, to climb up Snow Hill a few times... a giddy clamber of some 40m...

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  9. I know what you mean Alan, i am “Going In” on Thursday. I hope i come out better than Steph did.
    If by any chance your Daunder happens and is not too far off my patch then give me a bit of warning and i will try and join in. It would be good to meet fellow bloggers.
    In the meantime enjoy snow hill. Do you plant a flag at the summit?

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    1. Ooh - Sounds painful! Good luck with that. Get all your sitting down done now...

      As soon as I know about the Daunder I'll be in touch!
      :-)

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