First a flash of green appeared. I wasn’t sure what I’d just seen. Was it a bird or a plane? Then squadrons of vibrant lime green Aussies appeared cartwheeling across the slate grey Northern sky. Parrots….. in Manchester?
Purple (or Green) Haze?
I turned to Google. A quick search revealed these luminous green visitors could be the love children of Jimi Hendrix’s own pair of breeding parrots. Urban myth has it that he released his ring-necked parakeets, Adam and Eve, from his London flat as a “Peace” gesture. How swinging sixties!
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m partial to a bit of abracadabra and the odd glass of wine, just not at 8 o’clock in the morning. And especially not before a round of golf at Worsley on the old Bridgewater Estate. But blow me down if the ghost of Jimi Hendrix didn’t make me slice my drive high into the trees! As concerning was the fact I may have knocked one of the green intruders off its perch.
This Parrot is no more?
The last thing I needed was a deceased parrot on my conscience. I checked the undergrowth wondering whether there was any sign of the supine feathery green Australian thing! As I hacked away in the undergrowth with my 6 iron, I toyed with the idea that I could hand it in and claim it was “just resting”, in much the same way as the Norwegian Blue famously did. But no, like my golfball, not a trace could be found. So thanks for that Jimi, you just ruined my round.
Reflecting later on my close encounter with the descendants of the late Mister Hendrix and his freedom fighting parakeets, I did a bit more research. To my surprise, I discovered there is now a UK population of over thirty thousand. Clearly, they inherited many of Jimi’s proclivities. Apparently they are, for the most part, inhabitants of Southern England and London in particular. However, significant populations can be found around South Manchester, especially Didsbury. They’ve adapted so well to our climate that there is now a concern they pose a threat to indigenous bird species and even to agriculture. I must say that I find the last suggestion somewhat improbable. Are the gardeners though, at the soon to be opened RHS Bridgewater, ready for an invasion of exotic green parakeets?