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'Lonely swan' reunited with flock at RSPB reserve

An injured swan which was abandoned when its herd migrated to Iceland in March has been reunited with some of its former companions.

The whooper swan, named Hula, damaged a wing and was unable to join the annual 2,000-mile round trip from Frampton March Nature Reserve in Lincolnshire.

The cob has been waiting patiently for the other birds to return, staff at the centre said.

“The lonely swan is lonely no more,” Chris Andrews, from the reserve, said.

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“About 20 swans arrived back from Iceland this week and are spending their days eating sugar beet tops in nearby fields before returning to the reserve at night.

“Hula spotted two other whoopers close to the reserve and went over to join them,” he said.

“Since then he seems to have spent a lot of time hanging out with them.”

Mr Andrews said it is not known if they are simply friends or potential mates.

Whooper swans – so named because of the noise they make – migrate to breeding grounds in Iceland in the spring. A group of up to 60 return to the reserve each year for winter.

Mr Andrews said the others are expected to return over the next few days.


  • Whooper swans are the same size as the more familiar mute swans, which live in the UK all year round
  • The two species can be told apart by the colour of their bills: mute swans’ are orange, whooper swans’ are black and yellow
  • Whooper swans arrive in the UK for winter in October and before returning to Iceland in March

Source: Frampton Marsh Nature Reserve


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