The latest blast of cold weather to sweep across the UK has put migration plans back to Russia on hold, and has encouraged more birds to fly into Slimbridge instead! The reserve is the largest wintering site on the western fringes of the Bewick’s swan range, and so often provides a warmer refuge than colder areas further east. Swan volunteer Steve Heaven recorded 327 swans here yesterday, the highest count made on a single day since the 1997/98 winter when 393 birds were spotted!
The new arrivals include Saruni (ringed 525), the male swan who unusually divorced from his old mate Sarindi last year. As Bewick’s swans form famously loyal partnerships during their lifetimes, mating for life where they can, the divorce and the subsequent re-pairing of both with new mates took us all by surprise! Both Saruni and Sarindi are now roosting on the same lake again, with their new respective partners, Sarune and Sarind. There have been no signs of acknowledgement between them so far!