The parakeets, frozen ducks and a coot.

Hackney, my home town, is known for it’s mix of cultures – melting pot some might say. Home for many of London’s first, second, third and onwards generation of immigrants; Turkish, Somali, Jamaican, Nigerian, Sri-Lankan. And these are just the people on my estate.

But even I was surprised to see a group, from sunnier climes, outside my kitchen window. First I saw one; small, noisy, green, be-winged and being chased by a magpie. Then I saw another and then four more. A flock of parkeets – over here, taking our nest boxes, filling up our bird baths, eating our peanuts. And no one is doing a thing about it.
Then I went for my afternoon walk in Clissold Park and saw some more. Here is a picture to prove it. Clearly showing a Parakeet. Clearly.

How do they survive here in this cold? tells me they are actually from the foothills of the Himalaya – so they can cope with a bit of icy chill. Hhhmm Himalaya or Hackney. I know where I’d rather be.

The ponds in the park were freezing over. The sun was setting behind the ducks and coots slithering around on the uneven ice. It wasn’t the Hindu Kush but it was cold and beautiful.


  1. I’m on the phone to the Home Office. They show no sign of having either entry visas, money, manners, or knowing the Queens birthday. Outrageous!

  2. Lovely pictures – I like the exotic thread – it subverts the idea of London as a grey place in winter time. (There’s an alpine parrot – the Kea – which lives on South Island in New Zealand. They are hardy and mischevious little creatures, apparently.)

  3. Oooh, luv, yuv made ‘Ackney look bootiful!

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