Along Queen Elizabeth Walk across the Esplanade, this lone house crow (Corvus splendens) landed and cawed. Between its harsh cries of corvid indignance it uttered a distinctively non-avian wail that invited approach. With five feet between us, it called and craned with curious ease, until I broke its invisible wall of secure domain. It then flew to a nearby outer ledge shielded by thorny scrubs that strangely held a small plastic container containing some pet food. Who feeds the birds on this outpost of urbane glitter?
On a tree nearby, a koel performed its evening moan of inflected whistles. A tiger shrike hawked for morsels from a low branch. Peering over the ledge, a chorus line of barnacles still cling to the high water line. Swimming amidst plastic spoons are schools of small mullets and a lone needlefish.
Closer to the mouth of the river, across the lonely fig that guards Anderson Bridge, a dead eel fluttered, its head wedged in a fatal hole. Like a grumpy troll, a large crab perched and pondered beneath the turret, oblivious to the churning current. A young couple stranded themselves in a cul-de-sac, leaning over the grey green water and losing themselves in an embrace too gentle for chastity.
On rocks shadowed by the quay, purple grapsids wrestled, unmarked by listless bumboaters. Just beyond the lowermost steps, a portunid sat oblivious to its systematic murkiness and the fresh fate that awaits this bay of reservoir madness. The surrounding towers hid the gathering crowd of diners and drinkers from the daily death of the sun and I melted into their midst, chasing in vain juicy yarns and skewered tendons in a night rife with shuttered conspiracy that ended over a daiquiri strummed to a tune in tou-ché.