Waters of the Wild Swan
234 × 156mm
34 colour photographs
The book begins dramatically - a level flight of eight mute swans, occupying the entire width of a busy street in the centre of Edinburgh, sweep through the canyon of tenement walls at the height of second-storey windows, bringing traffic to a standstill. The reader cannot help but share instantly the author's lifelong love affair with the most graceful and one of the most powerful birds in the British Isles, whose ways are remarkably little known.
Jim Crumley has watched swans all across Scotland - the city slickers in Edinburgh; the mute pair which successfully raises entire clutches of eight or nine year in, year out on a man-made pond; the pair that valiantly tried three times in one season against the odds to rear young on a Highland loch; and the wintering flocks and lone wanderers of whoopers and Bewicks in landscapes as far flung as the carse of Stirling to Glencoe and Skye. In all, here is a wildlife book unlike most others you will have read - tough, lyrical, surprising, colourful, moving, keenly observed and beautifully written.