Crow Feast

January 28, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

I am not normally a fan of people throwing out food for birds to eat. All too often it results in waste, rats, and if near water as is often the case, algal bloom. At one of the ponds near where I live, this is a constant problem - there is feeding birds, and then there is feeding birds. At this particular pond we have moved on from families bringing a few bits of bread to feed the ducks, and instead we have people driving to the site and dumping immense piles of what is essentially trash. Mouldy pittas and naans, loaves upon loaves of bread, lentils, unidentifiable gloop, you name it - it probably gets thrown out at Alexandra Lake. The result is that the pond is turning into a stinking mess, and in summer the water is basically dead - only by virtue of the massive amounts of rain this summer did it survive. The asian community are the principal offenders - whether this is some kind of misguided cultural act of goodwill or charity, semi-religious if you will, or whether it's just because they own a lot of shops/restaurants that would have waste food on a semi-industrial scale I don't know, but it's really big problem that is getting worse and the site owners are doing nothing about it. One of the rangers, even more misguided than the general public, actually took down the "Please don't feed the birds" sign before she moved on as she thought it not community-friendly! Not that people took the blindest bit of notice. Anyhow, the point of this minor rant is that sometimes the absurd feeding can result in interesting photographic situations, and this Sunday I saw something I hadn't yet seen before - two ladies arrived and threw out a big pile of raw bits of meat. I'm not entirely sure what it was, but the colour was unnaturally red, so I'm going for Chicken Tikka cubes of the sort you might find on a kebab skewer. I'd been photographing ducks when I became aware of a riot of birds behind me, and so raced over. Spiced or not, the local Crows were big fans, and the whole lot was demolished in under five minutes.


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