As the Bewick's swans arrive at Slimbridge for the winter of 2023/24, we'll be keeping you updated on the individuals on site.
Monday 4 December - total of 74 Bewick's counted, including 12 cygnets.
A new family
arrived over the weekend - 'Babaco' and 'Babato' with two cygnets. Babaco first
wintered at Slimbridge with then mate 'Floret' in 2011, the following
winters she came on her own. In 2016 she arrived with new mate Babato,
and they have returned every winter since. The two cygnets
are the first that they have brought back together.
another family with one cygnet, who are new to Slimbridge. The pair have now been named 'Bourtange' and 'Domberg', after Dutch villages.
Friday 1 December - 69 Bewick's swans counted at WWT Slimbridge.
Latest arrivals include 'Sarindi' and 'Sarind',
Sarindi first wintered at Slimbridge in 2007 with then mate 'Saruni'. Both
returned the following winter, but in the winter of 2009 both swans came back with
different mates; Sarindi with Sarind and Saruni with 'Sarune'. This seems to be a rare case of a swan divorce! Sarindi and Sarind are still together and have returned with 5 cygnets in
that time, but none this winter. Their cygnet from last winter was ringed and
named 'Titus', she arrived on 22 November 2023 and the family are now reunited.
Bewick's swan Sarindi.
Another new arrival includes 'Keynell' who first
wintered at Slimbridge with mate 'By-Brook' in 2010 and have visited every
winter after that. Sadly Keynell arrived on her own this winter but has been reunited with one of their
cygnets from 2018 - Allington (see further details below).
wintered as a cygnet with parents Danuta and Danut in 2005 and she has
returned every winter since. Her present mate is 'Katniss', she has had two other
mates over the years but no cygnets yet.
Wednesday 29 November - 52 Bewick's recorded on site, nine being cygnets.
The family 'Turlach' and 'Tramore' arrived with their two cygnets. Turlach first wintered at Slimbridge with then mate 'Turlough' in 2017. Both returned in 2019 with four cygnets, but Turlough sadly passed away that winter. In the winter of 2021 Turlach returned with a new mate Tramore and four cygnets, last winter they returned with three cygnets and now two this winter.
Bewick's swans on a lake, including Turlach and Tramore with their two cygnets.
Tuesday 28 November - New arrivals overnight included 'Fortune Two' and 'Combo'. Fortune Two first arrived as a cygnet with parents in 2003 and has visited Slimbridge every winter since. He was joined by Combo in the winter of 2005, they have only returned with two cygnets in the winter of 2013.
'Shoon' and 'Shone' also arrived on 28 November - Shoon first wintered at Slimbridge with then mate 'Shea' in 2007, in the winter of 2014 he returned with a new mate 'Shines' and in the winter of 2019, he returned with present mate Shone. In the winter of 2021 they returned with four cygnets.
Along with solo swan 'Allington' who first wintered at Slimbridge as a cygnet with parents 'By-Brook' and 'Keynell', he stayed with his parents for three winters, Allington has no mates yet. Look out for him with a yellow ring on his right leg which says 915.
Pair of Bewick's swans - Fortune Two and Combo.
Monday 27 November - 33 swans recorded on site, seven being cygnets.
Some new arrivals include - 'Bruton' a female who first wintered at Slimbridge in 2016 as a single adult. She did not return again until 2020, again as a single adult, but paired up with regular male 'Moriarty' and had been a pair for three years. Bruton is on her own this winter.
'Olga' first came as a cygnet with her parents 'Orkney Reid' and 'Doodled' on 22 December 2022. She returned last winter as a yearling on 15 December 2022 and is now two years old.
'Heerlen' first arrived at Slimbridge in 2020 as a single adult and has returned every winter since, they have no mate yet.
Bewick's swan Heerlan.
Wednesday 22 November saw a 'Swanfall' with a flurry of new Bewick's arrive on the reserve. 43 swans were recorded on site in total including the following individuals: 'Winkey' and 'Winker', Winkey first wintered at Slimbridge with then mate Tinkey in 2001. He was last seen with Tinkey in the winter of 2010, they only had one cygnet. He was joined by Winker the following winter and has returned every winter since. The pair have been known to go to Chew Valley for a short while, they have brought back five cygnets over the years. Winkey is the oldest swan on the pond between 26-27 years old.
'Gastro' and 'Roux' also arrived during the Swanfall, they have been a pair since the winter of 2019 and this year have come with their first two cygnets.
Another pair include 'Primero' and 'Piquet', Primero first wintered at Slimbridge with mate Pidro in 2012, they were together until the winter of 2014. Primero returned with Piquet the following winter with two cygnets and the pair have brought three with them this winter.
Baratheon, mate of Venta, (who arrived on 20 November), has also now reached Slimbridge and is reunited with Venta.
Bewick's swan Baratheon.
Tuesday 21 November - pair 'Hoorn' and 'Laren' arrived. This pair first wintered at Slimbridge in 2016 and have returned every winter since. In 2021 they brought back their first two cygnets but haven't brought any more back since then.
Bewick's pair Hoorn and Laren.
Monday 20 November saw the arrival of 'Venta'. Venta first wintered at Slimbridge with mate 'Baratheon' in 2018, Baratheon was a cygnet of 'Tool' and 'Times' in the winter of 2016. Venta and Baratheon brought their first cygnet back last winter but Venta has arrived on her own this winter.
Saturday 18 November swans 'Demidov' with mate 'Derbent' arrived, along with a new swan for Slimbridge - 'Soltsy'. Demidov and Derbent first wintered at Slimbridge in 2014 and have wintered every year since. They don't have any cygnets yet.
Bewick's swan Venta.
Thursday 16 November - The first Bewick's to arrive the winter of 23/24 were Maisie and her partner Maifield and their two cygnets.
Maisie first wintered at WWT Slimbridge in 2014 and has returned to our reserve every year since. In 2016 she arrived with her new mate Maifield. After coupling up the pair brought their first two cygnets back to Slimbridge in 2020, three more in 2021, two more last winter and another two this year. Maisie also featured in the film Flight of the Swans, a story of hope and discovery looking at how communities across 11 countries, from the Arctic to the UK, are working hard to protect Bewick’s swans and wetlands.