VIDEO: Whooper swans hampered by injury hatch brood of cygnets at Fenland reserve

A HEART-WARMING tale of love and devotion has resulted in the arrival of a unique brood of cygnets on a Fenland nature reserve – 1,100 miles from their normal nursery.

A pair of whooper swans, Romeo and Julietta, have successfully bred at Welney. But it is due to Romeo’s devotion as the swans should really be in Iceland, the traditional breeding ground.

Julietta was injured, probably by flying into overhead power cables, and was unable to make the 1,800km journey back to the remote wetlands of Iceland. But loving Romeo has stayed by her side.

Whooper swans pair for life but a spokesman for the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust reserve said it was incredibly unusual for one bird to remain with the other if there was no chance of migration.

It is the first time whooper swans have bred at Welney.

Leigh Marshall, reserve manager at WWT Welney said: “We are really pleased for them that they’ve been able to hatch a brood, despite the odds being stacked against them with Julietta’s injury.”

Both Romeo and Julietta were ringed at WWT Welney in November 2007 and have nested on the main lagoon in front of the main observatory.

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