Some turkey has been ransacking our tomatoes. Every morning when the children head outdoors hoping to return with ripe juicy garden bounty for their school lunchboxes, they instead find tomatoey scenes of wanton destruction. Tomatoes big, small, green and red lay pecked and lost to us. "Bad budgies!" we say.
Then we found evidence.
Then we caught the culprit red-clawed.
It wasn't a turkey or a budgie but an Australian Ringneck Parrot or Twenty-Eight as they are commonly called. My wildlife book states that they are "very common" which is true, but I think that with their iridescent green wings, necklace of bright yellow and sapphire-tipped tail that they are uncommonly beautiful.
It merrily balanced on one leg while it held one of my tomatoes in the other and continued to chomp away. It looked at me several times as I crept closer with my camera and let out its shrill call which supposedly sounds like "twenty-eight!" but never does to me.
From the (skankier and skankier) lawn its two pals (a fifty-six) gave the same shrill call as they foraged for seed.
I added "netted garden area" to our extensive house-shopping wish-list but I found it hard to get grumpy as:
a) I am from New Zealand and parrots, in my garden = cool!
b) I have a thing about birds who stand on one leg, and
c) today their call sounded just like "Thanking youuuu! Thanking youuuu!" and I am a sucker for good manners.