AN exotic visitor is causing a little bit of a flap in a garden in East Lancashire.

Ribble Valley has always been rightly proud of its collection of hen harriers.

And great efforts have been made to protect the threatened Pennine finch, or twite, on the South Pennine between Burnley and Bacup.

But now a small family of a parakeets have decided to call the outskirts of Barrowford their home.

And Carl Jones, who lives at The Hedgerows, off Colne Road, says the bright green interlopers have provided a bit of extra colour to his corner of East Lancashire in more ways than one.

He told the Lancashire Telegraph: "We've noticed them making a beeline for our bird feeder and they seem quite happy with what's been put out.

"They're going straight up to it and frightening off a lot of the other birds, even larger species like crows.

"The only ones that they don't seem to intimidate are the woodpeckers but they can certainly look after themselves."

And it seems that the pleasant summer has done no harm to the parakeet family, which is thought to live in nearby trees.

Earlier in the season there were five regularly seen but Carl is convinced they have added at least two more to their brood as autumn has set in.

According to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the ring-necked or rose-ringer parakeet is perhaps our most abundant naturalised parrot, which became established in the wild after captive specimens escaped in the 1970s.

But it is more common to see the distinctive green birds in the south-west, instead of the chilly north.

An RSPB spokesman added: "The ring-necked parakeet's native range is a broad belt of arid tropical countryside stretching from west Africa across lowland India south of the Himalayas, where it is a common bird.

"Despite their tropical origin, parakeets are able to cope with the cold British winters, especially in suburban parks, large gardens, and orchards, where food supply is more reliable."