I thought I’d write a little post in honour of the birds that started this blog, the rose-ringed parakeets of South London. It’s been a few months since I began my journey into the wonderful world of birding and wildlife blogging. I’ve connected with so many people through WSL and I feel like I owe a thank you to these noisey, tropical invaders.
Under a pine in Vondelpark
the Bird Lady has fashioned
an impromptu feed-table,
arrives each morning laden
with bags of sunflower seeds
and kibbled maize and proceeds
to feed the feral Rose-rings
general plumage green,
in male, rose collar encircling
hindneck, nape suffused
bluish) and Alexandrines
a group of pristine males,
suffused with bluish-grey,
black stripe through lowercheek,
pink collar encircling hindneck,
red slash on secondary coverts,
massive vermillion bill,
call – a skreeching kee-ak),
which, were it not for her
would not survive the severe
and we would be undernourished.
The first decent picture I managed to take of a parakeet was in Regent’s Park, technically not South London. I had just been visiting my friend Cass at London Zoo when this bold little chap flew onto a branch right in front of me. I particularly like the contrast of his bright green plumage against the cherry red leaves.
This next set of pictures was taken in Crystal Palace Park in the trees that line the walkway from the Sports Centre down to the bottom of the park. I was completely surrounded by the birds, squawking away. I spent about an hour trying to capture their bullish character.
Studying these birds has become something of an obsession. Walking through the woods on my birthday with some friends, we came across a small flock persecuting a squirrel. I’ve noticed this behaviour on several occasions but have yet to capture it with my camera. First the grey squirrels wipe out the red squirrel, then parakeets take on the greys? This poser of a parakeet, in Shirley Hills, had just chased a squirrel out of a tree that was clearly just for him.
Parakeets like to gather in large groups, often around hollows in trees. I found this chatter (apparently the collective noun for parakeets) guarding a hollow in a tree in Beulah Heights. They were taking it in turns to pop in and out of the tree. I watched them for quite some time.
This last group of Parakeets were viciously competing to perch on a particular part of tree in Richmond Park. I took a short film of their battle. My interest in birds has accelerated greatly since my curiosity was peaked by the rose-ringed parakeets. I have a lot to thank them for.