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The winter's first family of Bewick's swans arrived at Slimbridge Wetland Centre today. The event is traditionally seen as heralding the start of winter - and this year it's around two weeks later than usual.
The small, wild swans migrate from Russia to the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust in Gloucestershire every year. Normally they finish their journey by mid-to-late October, but this year’s mild weather and unfavourable wind directions dramatically delayed the first arrivals.
The family of two adults and two cygnets touched down this morning. Mum and dad were quickly identified from their distinctive bill patterns as WWT regulars Nurton and Nusa.
Many more Bewick’s swans are expected to arrive at WWT Slimbridge in the coming weeks, with numbers usually reaching 300.
The largest Bewick's swan family ever recorded has arrived at the Wildfowl and Wetland Centre in Gloucestershire.
'Everton', and his new mate 'Rovers' have brought their six cygnets with them. They've joined 200 more of the threatened wild swans after a 2,500 mile journey from arctic Russia.
It may be "seven swans-a-swimming" in the carol but Slimbridge has gone one up!
Latest ITV News reports
The Wildfowl and Wetland Trust is seeing more young Bewick's swans fly into Slimbridge leading to fresh hope for the threatened species