FRANK Moore has studied exotic birds all over the globe but the last thing he expected to see was this beauty in his Portsmouth back garden.
He is pretty certain it is a pet Amazon parrot which must have escaped from somebody’s home.
It hung around in his garden in Keswick Avenue, Copnor, just long enough for him to snatch this photograph of it munching happily under his bird feeders.
Keen birder Frank, 74, said: ‘It was about 3.30pm. I’d just got in and put the kettle on. I looked out of the kitchen window and there it was on the ground pecking away at some seed which had fallen from the feeders above.
‘I’m used to seeing greenfinches and blue tits out there, but you never expect to see an Amazon parrot in Portsmouth.’
Frank has no idea where the bird might have flown in from. ‘I just wanted to let the owner know that it’s still alive and well, but whether it’s home is even in the Portsmouth area, who knows?’
The bird was quite happy nibbling the seed on the paving slabs beneath Frank’s umbrella of feeders.
‘I managed to get quite close – close enough to get this picture – but then it hopped across the garden to the wall, jumped up onto a fence and flew off.’
Having spent most of his working life in the Royal Navy in ships and submarines, Frank has had more opportunities than most to watch birds around the world.
‘I’ve been keen most of my life, but unfortunately when I was in the navy we didn’t have the marvellous cameras that are around today.
‘Most of the birds I saw then are in my memory not on prints.’
He talks fondly of the albatrosses which accompanied his ship in the south Atlantic and the small fairy tern in the Seychelles which lays one egg on top of a branch.
‘As soon as I saw the parrot I was certain it was an Amazon,’ he added, surrounded by his large collection of bird and other wildlife books.
Amazon parrots – the common name for a parrot of the Amazona group – are medium-sized birds found from South America to Mexico and the Caribbean.
Most are predominantly green, with splashes of other vivid colours. They feed mainly on seeds, nuts, and fruit.
Many have a remarkable ability to mimic human speech and other sounds and because of this they are popular as pets.
This popularity has led to many parrots being taken from the wild to such a degree that some species have become threatened. An international treaty has made trapping wild parrots for the pet trade illegal to try to protect wild populations.