Ring necked parakeet feeding on nuts in Kensington Gardens by boxplayer

Ring necked parakeet feeding on nuts in Kensington Gardens

They've been spreading across London like nobody's business but I've never seen them so close up and so tame - just feeding from the tourists' hands in Kensington Gardens. Jury's out on their negative or otherwise impact but they are gorgeous.

Couldn't decide on which Ramblers walk to do today so in the end decided to do the Princess Diana Memorial Walk - a good 7.5 miles through London's great parks.

Started at 9.30 at Green Park station and wended m way through familiar territory initially, doing a bit St James's Park, loop. Lots of tourists, some seriously interesting water birds (including a hooded merganser) and some speckly brown ducks with brown and white heads that I couldn't identify.

Next stage was to move back into Green Park by crossing in front of Buckingham Palace. But I was seriously stymied by the Changing of the Guard. Didn't realise what all the crowds were massing for and lots of police trying to keep them in order - what a shenanigans that must be every day.

In the end I had to double back and go the long way round into Green Park and along Constitution Hill. Reached Hyde Park Corner and crossed into Hyde Park. Walked through the very pretty rose garden then along the Serpentine admiring Simon Gudgeon's Isis statue - a most elegant bird, not an extremist terrorist group - and the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain.

Stopped for water and a banana at the lido. Here they had lots of nice chairs by the water. I watched a coot who entertainingly seemed to have got the hiccups and a group of flying swans flew overhead.

On into Kensington Gardens, a park I don't know very well at all. Lots of lovely green leafy walkways and interesting sculptures including of course the fabulous Peter Pan by George Frampton, George Watts's Physical Energy, and Henry Moore's Arch.

At the Princess Diana Memorial playground I found an oddity - the Elfin Oak - originally carved from an ancient oak tree by Ivor Innes. Its restoration was spearheaded by Spike Milligan and it's listed now.

By the time I got round to the pretty Italian gardens it had started spitting and it stayed a bit damp for the rest of the walk. Was getting seriously tired now. But was home by 2, for a lunch of mozzarella and cavolo nero and tomatoes. Watched a couple of episodes of Mum.

Read on the bed for a while. Was going to try and do a bit of photo uploading catch-up but ran out of time especially when work called about a news story that needed scheduling - in the end I didn't have to do anything, but had wasted enough time logging in and checking the inbox.

Cooked up a big sausage and chickpea casserole for the evening and our lunches then did a bit of packing for a weekend away.

Greylag goslings looking for mummy in Hyde Park https://365project.org/boxplayer/extras/2019-05-29

29 May 2019
Kensington Gardens W2
Wonderful! I recently read a National Geographic article about "escaped pet birds" making themselves quite at home across half of the United States. I had to look up to learn what I was seeing in one case, and found I am frequented by a "Whydah", a South African bird! Keeps us on our toes to learn about what we have around us!
June 9th, 2019  
@Weezilou But it's just so odd seeing these exotic birds that obviously originate from elsewhere all over London - they make a bit of a racket actually.
June 9th, 2019  
@Weezilou Actually was thinking about you as we have been talking about when we will visit Nova Scotia (as my first long-haul trip ever if I can face the flight!). We're thinking next year - combining a trip with NS and Prince Edward Island. So I may be picking your brains soon about the best time to go, how to get about without a car etc etc!
June 9th, 2019  
love this fav
June 9th, 2019  
Such a lovely bird
June 10th, 2019  
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