Swans feeding in the estuary of the River Tweed move with the tide between river and sea.

 

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Sometimes the whole flotilla have their heads down, feeding.  At other times they start out with heads up, in line, purposefully paddling across the river and then stop, turn and drift off in different directions.  A week of occasional swan watching from a waterside holiday cottage wasn’t long enough to make sense of their comings and goings.

 

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Down on the shore at high tide, I discovered that these mute swans are far from silent.  The exchange of grunts and whistles isn’t an elegant song but a constantly changing conversation that seems to keep the flock together.