June 18, 2018
What inspires you? I often get asked this question, it’s hard to define, but in the case of “Erica’s Perch” that’s easy, when I studied at the RSN my lodgings had a bird table in the garden and to my surprise one day Ring Neck Parakeets started visiting it, I’d watch with amusement them squabbling over the nut feeder and it often made me late for class. But how did they get here? They are certainly not native and very exotic looking next to our little brown jobs on the bird table.
The Ring-Neck or Rose-Ringed Parakeets is the most widely distributed of all the parrots, as it is found naturally on two continents: Africa and Asia, so why here in grey drizzle of Britain.
The story I enjoy the most though most likely not the real story, is that Jimi Hendrix released a pair in Carnaby Street in the 1960’s. Other thoughts and theories are they escaped from Isleworth Studios during the filming of the African Queen in 1951, a pair was released from the Blue Peter Garden in the 1990s and the Great Storm of 1987 damaged aviaries they were housed in so they were able to fly into the wild. I remember the Great Storm myself and a lot of aviary birds were lost. One thing’s for sure they are dong well from relatively low populations in the 1970’s to a population currently standing at about 9,000 breeding pairs. However, estimates put the total number much higher at 50,000 birds.
Greater London and surrounding areas still being there stronghold, the species has been recorded in almost every county in England, and has reached Wales and the Scottish borders, I saw a small flock in Studland, Dorset just last summer. Whatever your thoughts on none native species being introduced, one things for sure they brighten up the place and whenever I’m in London I like to go to Hyde Park to hand feed them, though there manners leaves something to be desired…….honestly.
Visit to Hyde Park to meet the locals.
Years after my first encounter with a Ring Neck I went on to develop Erica’s Perch, I named it after my late Dad, Eric Stevens, who like me loved birds and my stories about the London Parakeets. Happy memories.
Crewel Work Embroidery Kit 'Erica's Perch' Level Intermediate, Seven Stitch Techniques, Design Size: 18cm x 21cm, Fabric Size: 33cm x 33cm
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