Day 3 of our two week European Holiday did not disappoint. Today we visited the sights of London . . . Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Rose-Ringed Parakeets, West Minster Abbey, St. Paul . . . What??? Wait??? Rose-Ringed Parakeets??? In London????
This latest birding distraction began in front of Buckingham Place as we posed for photos while our tour guide regaled us with facts and humorous anecdotes about King Charles’s most famous bungalow. Suddenly, Ingrid glimpsed a large green bird landing in nearby Green Park but was unable to identify it. At that point Ingrid and I couldn’t have cared whether Meghan and Kate were having a fist fight while the Royal Guard marched around them . . . we were in full “what’s that bird mode?”
By the time we returned to our tour bus, I had located what appeared to be two green Parrots or Parakeets and Ingrid had learned that these were Rose-Ringed Parakeets, native to Africa and South Asia. This bird of the equator is flourishing in London, England. Thank you, Google!
Here is where it gets funny . . . there are all kinds of stories about how two Rose-Ringed Parakeets got loose in London in the first place (it takes two birds . . . your Mom can explain the process).
Story One: Jimi Hendricks (yes, that Jimmy Hendricks) released two Rose-Ringed Parakeets in 1968.
Story Two: They were imported to England for the filming of the African Queen (starring Katherine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart) and escaped. By the way, if you have never seen the African Queen, stop whatever you are doing and go watch it!!! NOW!!!
Other stories involve George Michael of Wham!!!
And Henry VIII . . . who I really should be writing about instead of birds.
Anyway, a half hour later the tour group bus stopped at King James Park to use the loo . . . and Ingrid and I saw eight life birds in the next 30 minutes.
Then we got back to sightseeing . . . trying to ignore the birds.