The temperature is 2C as I write, and brightening up my very urban and fairly monochrome London backyard…
… there be parrots.
Londoners may not be surprised, but the rest of you probably associate London with pigeons, not parrots. This pigeon-toed pigeon is looking down on these foreign arrivistes in quivering disbelief, if not affront:
The bright green invading hordes are Ring-necked Parakeets (Psittacula krameri manillensis), and there are many theories as to how they arrived in England from India, but they are now very well established in London and the South East. They have been breeding in England since 1969, and the latest count had 8600 breeding pairs. Read this if you would like more background:
They travel in noisy flocks, sometimes hundreds strong:
and perch or preen on anything tall, including TV antennae.
At this time of year they are pairing off:
I photographed all these from our fourth-floor balcony, as they preened to fluff up their plumage for our Northern climes.
PS: They are also called Rosy-necked Parakeets, here’s why:
And I am thrilled they have come to live in my city.