Wimble the whooper swan returns to WWT Welney

Wimble returns to Welney once more
Wimble returns to Welney once more

A whooper swan which has clocked up more than 40,000 airmiles during her lifetime has once more returned to her favourite wintering spot in West Norfolk.

Wimble, who is at least 17-years-old, has been flying twice a year between WWT Welney and Iceland.

Staff at the centre spotted Wimble had returned during one of the feeding sessions on Monday.

The swan count, undertaken by volunteers and staff last week, has revealed that 4,762 whoopers and 193 Bewick’s currently at the wetlands but more are expected.

Wimble, who was first ringed as an adult in 1998 and could live well into her 20s, delights visitors during the popular commentated floodlit feeds at the centre.

Marketing officer Emma Brand said: “We first spotted her on Monday evening.

“She is a regular for coming up to the floodlit feeds.

“Wimble is quite good at coming onto the ledge so people can see her ring.

“Visitors enjoy going into the hide and using the touch screen to find out more about the swans by typing in their ring numbers.”

Wimble was ringed in Iceland and has had signets in the past.

But staff are not sure if she has returned this year with a family due to the scramble among the swans at feeding times.

Welney is a favourite wintering ground for Wimble who has been spotted at the site or in the surrounding fields over the years.

Ms Brand said: “She is at least 17-years-old which is a good age for a swan. She has been able to make the migration successfully throughout her life without falling foul of threats.”

Up to 10,000 swans are expected to be using the Ouse Washes in the peak of winter.

There are lots of ways to get closer to the swans and find out more about these magnificent birds and their migrations at events run by WWT Welney.

Winter wild swan feeds, 3.30pm daily until Sunday, March 13.

Another event planned is the Swan’s awake on Saturday and Sunday. The cost is £10 per adult, £5 per child plus extra charge for optional breakfast.

Floodlit evening swan feeds, 6.30pm every Thursday to Sunday until February.