Swans at dusk at Linlithgow, Scotland
Swans at dusk at Linlithgow, Scotland
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Swans at dusk at Linlithgow, Scotland

Murdo MacLeod


With the birds front-lit against a darkening sky, this photograph of swans at Linlithgow in Scotland may look like a glorious nature scene, but the reality behind it is a little different. On the day it was taken – 6 April 2006 – bird flu was found in a dead swan in Cellardyke, a coastal village about 10 miles south of St Andrews, Fife. The bird had the dubious honour of being the first wild bird in Britain to be found with the deadly H5N1 strain of the virus. That year marked the peak of the media frenzy surrounding bird flu, when it erupted out of Asia, spread across Russia and fanned out into Europe and Africa. To date, no humans have been infected with the virus in the UK.


  • Exclusive collectible fine-art print from the Guardian & Observer
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  • 30x40cm print size, dimensions include border for easy framing
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