My fascination with the 5,000 odd Rose-ringed Parakeets that have taken over South London is really what got me interested in birds. The funniest part about the spread of these noisy, exotic little birds is how everyone has a ‘did you know’ story about how it has happened. I’ve heard the Jimi Hendrix version, my personal favourite. I’ve also heard that they were from Hampton Court Palace. Today however, while staring up into a tree, I was told by a man how they were from Kew Gardens, 30 of them apparently. He told me that in a huge storm a tree blew over, smashed into an aviary and the 30 identical bright green birds escaped to start their new life marauding around South London.
This time I found the birds nesting in the trees lining the path that runs up to the sports centre in Crystal palace Park. There must have been between 20 and 30 birds all squawking away. I now I have my favourite Parakeet shot so far… the one where he’s staring straight into my lens with sheer menace.