On Saturday night we caught out train back to London from Ramsgate Station. The station is bordered on one side by a stand of tress. It was dusk and as we walked to the train, we could hear that the trees were alive with the chirping of birds. When we turned to look, birds rose in a flock, wheeled in an aerial dance and perched in the trees again. The manoeuvre was repeated again and again as we watched.
Not an unusual sight for an English dusk, you might think, except for one thing: the long tails and the pretty green coloration of the birds in question. With a shock of recognition, we realised they were parrots. I estimated there were about 300 birds in the flock but that is just a guesstimate: it could have been more or less.
Recognition came from the fact that we had previously seen wild parrots (or should they be called feral?) in a park in Margate. We had looked for them since and not seen them and wondered whether they had failed to survive the winter, had been chased away or – Rhiannon forfend! – been destroyed. It now seems quite likely that they have flown off to Ramsgate and joined their kin there. Here is a BBC article on the subject.
I enjoy seeing them.Their vivacity and their aerial dances are a delight. What is their future? If they have survived this long, perhaps they are now inured to our climate and could survive even a harsh winter. Time will tell.