On parakeets in London

Who would have thought you’d find the startling green of parakeets in London? I thought I saw some near Hyde Park but blamed it on the July sun. Or homesickness. But wandering through the Kyoto Gardens at Holland Park with rr, I thought I heard parakeets. I dismissed it. But as we wandered into an enclosure, there they were. Bright green with red-chilli beaks. I’ve always been fond of parrots. I have a nose like one, and there’s that relationship of empathy.

After being subjected to the utterly boring waddling walks of London pigeons, it’s a treat to see these lovely birds flying about, blithe and screechy. None of the cooing nonsense of pigeons. Just straightforward shrieking, like a million shopkeepers calling out their bargains. They were hanging onto every seed from the bird feeders. Such a sight!

I felt suddenly transported to another place. The abundance of peacocks and peahens didn’t help either. Dazzling blue, and hopping over fences. rr isn’t much fond of squirrels, but then she hasn’t seen Indian ones I think. Spunky, striped like rock stars. Despite the rain, and the ruin of white sneakers, it was a wonderful walk. This particular parrot looks almost menacing. “Touch my feed, feel my beak”. Point taken.

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11 Comments

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11 Responses to On parakeets in London

  1. You photos and blog is really beautiful, i’ll be a frequent visitor

  2. Pingback: Pages tagged "rain"

  3. kuppakkara saibu

    Thanks. I liked it. Especially ‘…..millions of shopkeepers calling out…’ Got reminded of Janpath…..’Painthee…Painthee…Le lo Le lo’..in typical local version of Hindi

  4. rr

    See, you’ve brought so much to one parakeet. Superb. It was indeed a wonderful walk.

  5. Hey, great picture. The framing, of the parakeet in the natural surroundings right next to the bird feeder, with its industrial design and the bright colors of the feed, is very interesting.

    Also, as a previous commenter said, I also liked the shopkeeper analogy and self-referential empathy. :p

  6. ZRS

    You know what’s more puzzling than parakeets in mildly-cold London? Parakeets in freezing-cold Chicago! There’s a flock of 7-12 birds in the Hyde Park area, and they’re beautiful, but I wonder how they survive the winter.

  7. noses like the beaks of parakeets! and punky rockstars… the parakeets, not the parakeet-beak-shaped-nose owners :)

    and how did squirrels suddenly come into the picture? i’m intrigued!

    how do you differentiate between a parrot and a parakeet?

  8. btw, i like the new pic on your mast-head (is that what its called?). where was this taken?

  9. km

    Wow. Beautiful picture. You have a chilli-red nose? Or is it green feathered-skin?

  10. Timeseye: Thanks!

    kuppakkara saibu: How can I ever forget those visits to Sarojini Nagar? You used to copy them perfectly!

    rr: We need to find other such places. I almost fell homesick at the end of it – parakeets, peacocks – the only thing missing was an elephant!

    Bhel puri: But they were like hawkers. “Screech! Look at me! Screech!” It took a lot of clicking to get a few good photographs. They move so fast, that it’s hard to actually capture them. But their expressions – make it worth the effort.

    ZRS: I guess they should be able to withstand temperatures of about -4 C. But anything lower than that – should be hard. You can find them flying about in the Terai region, which does get quite cold. But Chicago! That does sound really cold for tropical birds!

    guruprasad: Parakeets are a kind of parrot. Usually long tail feathers. As for squirrels, they are abundant in London. But they’re the big kind – and can be a little scary. Almost like really big houserats with a long furry tail! The header picture was taken in the Qutub Minar complex, next to the Iron Pillar.

    km: Erm. I meant the shape of the nose. Which, come to think of it, does have a tendency to go deep red.

  11. I did come across a parakeet/parrot in Mumbai, the other day. it isn’t such amazing picture like you have clicked. I think it was just the advantages if getting early in the morning.