Picture of the week: the first parakeets

London parakeets

Sorry about the picture, they’re too quick for my phone.

The first parakeets of spring have arrived! Last week we spotted dozens in Istanbul, swooping in pairs, their brilliant green and yellow tail feathers following like a silk train. It seems as though they’ve followed us home. They’re not very popular creatures, but they have a certain poignancy in London.

Ring-neck parakeets originate from the foothills of the Himalayas, no one is totally certain how they got here. Wether they were released from the set of the African Queen, by a drug-adelled Jimi Hendrix or just moved here because of a change in weather patterns, they’re part of the city now. As newcomers, they get a lot of flack, but spring walks would certainly be less colourful without them.