Swan Lake was bustling with activity this morning as 14 new swans arrived overnight, pushing the reserve total up to 24 birds. Our first family of the winter flew in, a single parent who has brought her two cygnets to Slimbridge after seemingly losing her mate. We do not immediately recognise her as a bird that has visited before, so we are keeping an open mind about her identity at this stage. Any nervousness at the feed later may suggest that she is new to the reserve and its routines, so we will be watching her behaviour very carefully.
It was also lovely to see the return of the Tea Party! Faithful pair Teapot and Teabag have been spending their winters at the reserve together since 1996, with Teabag first testing Slimbridge waters in 1994! Over the years they have had 14 cygnets, although they have not brought any back with them this winter.