Christmas Swans Swimming

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Slowly traipsing around the house to wake up, brewing coffee, cradling a warm cup between my palms I move over to the front window. Looking out across the river Charente, I contemplate the quiet Christmas village under the arch and notice five white animals.

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The dog soon disappears, while the swans continue to drift lazily in the current.

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When suddenly the peace is shattered.

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Propelled by rhythmic strokes the knife-edged bow of a racing shell stirs the drowsy birds.

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As the athletes become aware of the feathered obstructions they slow their forward motion and gently glide by the agitated youngsters, which make a beeline for the river bank as soon as the boat has passed.

The swans stay close to the bank for a while, resting after the unsettling encounter. They wade in the shallow water, nibble a little and groom themselves, all the while softly chatting with each other in gurgly chirps.

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And a cormorant came by for breakfast too.

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The swans (Cygnus olor) and cormorants (Phalacrocorax aristotelis) we so often see on the river are wild residents of the La Palu wetlands which the city maintains as a nature preserve and to provide an overflow area during high water conditions.

 

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