Friday 25th September 2020, 1.55pm (day 3,319)
The working week ends as it started — with a bird photo-bombing the shot. But I like it.
Tensions are clearly running high in the ongoing pigeon-duck war. With negotiations having broken down, the pigeon high command has sent out a brave scout to keep an eye on the mallards. But what it hasn’t spotted is the counter-espionage agent sneaking in from the left.
This somewhat alarming example of the taxidermist’s ‘art’ was on display at the flea market in Hebden Bridge this afternoon. So many questions are begged I am not sure I know where to start. The rather evil-looking rodent descending from top left raises its own issues, too.
I can see no explanation for the burst of feathers on the neck of this pigeon than it has recently had an extremely close encounter with some kind of ballistic missile — a piece of shot, an air rifle pellet — not unlike (in pigeon terms) one of those stories where a WW1 trenches veteran got his cigarette case taken neatly out but he survived. Or Steve Buscemi’s character in Fargo (if you’ve seen it, you know). I apologise to the paid-up members of the Society Avoiding Cruelty to Pigeons on behalf of the perpetrator, but I didn’t do it, honestly, I’m just documenting.
Slightly unsatisfactory because the head of the one in front is a little out of focus — probably it was moving for a peck when I pressed the shutter. Otherwise I like this photo — the graffiti in the background sets them off quite well I think. And I like the way the one in the rear is clearly fluffing up its ruff and giving me the big ‘piss off’ message.
The pigeon/duck conflict is one of the great unseen wars. Where the river comes through the town, where waterfowl meets urban scavenger, the two species battle for the prime pickings from the humans. The pigeons sent an emissary to demand more territory, but the ducks, insistent that they were there first, just ain’t talking.