I cross into Hyde Park and spot ring-necked parakeets on some feeders; several people are photographing them with mobile phones. I was just in East Anglia where, for all the successful outreach by conservation bodies, midweek birdwatchers are inevitably mostly Anglo-Saxon and retired; here people of all ages and ethnicities stop to take a look, and maybe a selfie, as part of their daily routine. The birds would have looked equally unusual at Minsmere; ring-necked parakeets are natives of Africa and Asia, with a separate subspecies in each. They have long been popular as pets due to their colourful plumage, acrobatic skills and ability to mimic the human voice. The Ancient Greeks kept the Indian subspecies, and the Ancient Romans the African one. The Indian subspecies is declining fast in the wild, but is naturalised in many cities around the world, including London where they first bred in 1969. They are spreading fast around England and Wales.