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Country diary: sleeping swans float down the river like white coracles

Sandy, Bedfordshire The family of swans has separated, the juveniles driven off by parents ready to breed againOn a snow-flecked night over the holidays, I slipped down to the river and paused on the bridge. Floating a little upstream were two brilliant white coracles: sleeping swans, each with its beak folded away in the well between its wings. Anchorless and rudderless, did they lay their heads on feather beds under the weir, in the dreamy expectation that they would wake at dawn in the mill pool? Some overnight sleeper.Only two swans. The last time I was here, there had been more - a whole family. It is the harshest, most necessary part of a territorial bird's life that there should come a time when they drive away the young they so diligently nurtured. These birds had given theirs a Christmas present of solitude and self-reliance, and themselves the space to breed again. Continue reading...
Zdroj: The Guardian

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