SWAN LOVE: Welney WWT nature reserve’s romantic couple keeps experts guessing
A HEART-WARMING love story which astonished conservationists last year is continuing to keep experts guessing at a Fenland nature reserve.
Whooper swans Romeo and Julietta had been due to make the 1,100-mile journey back to the remote wetlands of Iceland to breed last spring, but an injured Julietta was unable to make the trip.
In a rare act of devotion, Romeo stayed by her side and they became the first whooper swans to breed at Welney - the first recorded breeding in Norfolk since 1928.
Now, with both his parents injured, it is not yet clear whether their cygnet, Junior, will migrate to the Icelandic breeding grounds this year.
“It’s very exciting to see what will happen,” Emma Brand, of the Wildfowls and Wetland Trust (WWT), said. “The cygnet is completely able-bodied, but it will be a bit daunting.
You may also want to watch:
“If he had hatched in Iceland, Junior would have already made one migration with his parents. We will have to wait and see whether he has that natural instinct to go.”
Junior, who hatched last summer, could find another family group to fly with before striking out on his own in Iceland.
- 1 Rowdy passengers force train cancellation
- 2 Woman 'cannot afford to lose' over £3,000 through builder
- 3 Tributes to retired CEO who 'worked tirelessly' for town
- 4 HGV driver courses set up to help meet critical shortages
- 5 Fire destroys family bungalow in the Fens
- 6 Daughters remember artist father who would ‘always be there’
- 7 Shocks all round as police pull over 'white van man'
- 8 7 questions that could decide if you truly are from the Fens
- 9 Care home ‘requires improvement’ in five key areas
- 10 Speeding car smashes into two vehicles before driving off
The swans will start to leave WWT Welney from the middle of next month, so there is still time for visitors to enjoy the spectacle of feeding time.
There will also be daily half-term activities this week, including a nature trail and the chance to make garden feeders.
Samantha Lee, public engagement officer at the reserve, said: “The swan feeds are a really unique experience and in this cold weather, with the birds brought closer to the hides, you really don’t need specialist equipment to be able to enjoy them.
“It’s incredible to see swans returning to Welney each winter and to get to know some of the birds really well is a privilege.”
For more information on the swan feeds and other activities at WWT Welney, call the centre on 01353 860711 or visit www.wwt.org.uk/welney.