Metcheck was showing good weather to the west of Gilsland, and rain to the east so it was an easy decision to head to Caerlaverock.
TT came with me, he hasn't been during the winter months so hasn't seen the mass of swans and geese that overwinter on the Solway coast.
We arrived just in time for the 11am feed, I have no idea how swans tell time but they obviously do because with a few minutes to the hour they start arriving at the feeding point.

Whooper Swans and Mute Swans gathering to be fed
Wouldn't this be a great jigsaw puzzle?

When the wheat is cast there's a boiling of the waters until it's a mass of swan bodies and you can see where the expression 'pecking order' comes from.

Fancy seeing you here.

There's a hide overlooking the feeding area, the windows don't open so while the swans can see people behind the glass they don't appear to feel threatened. You get great close up views of the birds and the staff seem to keep the glass of the hide clean so it's easy to get photographs.

Eventually the food is all eaten, the smaller ducks wade in for their share and all is tranquil until the next feeding time comes around.

Whooper Swans and Tufted Ducks, calm after the feeding frenzy

Lots of other ducks and birds to see and this has been a great year for unusual, even rare birds at Caerlaverock, if you check the site news you'll be able to see what you might find when you visit.

Tufted duck has a 'bad hair' day in the windy weather

Swans and Geese should be around for another month.
I can't describe the sound of 6,000 geese taking off it's magical and something not to be missed.

All photographs used in this blog are copyright of Joan Thirlaway and cannot be used without written permission.

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