Tuesday 17 May 2011: Hendrix's Children
There is a great mythology around the Kingston Parakeets. Are they descended from those that escaped from the set of The African Queen when it was being filmed nearby at Shepperton Studios, or from a pair released by Jimi Hendrix? Whichever, the flock of feral Rose-ringed Parakeets is now in the tens of thousands, and established enough to be recognised on the British list of non-native birds. There has been some controversy about their ecological impact, but what I've read suggests that they are not yet a threat to native British species, partly because they are restricted to urban/suburban areas with lots of bird feeders and exotic conifers.
I came across a small flock on an early morning walk along the Thames Path around Hampton Court Park. I expect they are quite mundane for London residents, but this was my first meeting with them in the wild, so a special one for me.
Kingston was my fifth university in twelve days, for one reason or another. Having come straight down from Preston the day before I had an overnight stop. Without that I'd have missed my encounter with the Kingston Parakeets.
bright green parakeet ~ of exotic ancestry ~ make yourself at home