AN ICONIC annual visitor to Slimbridge WWT has finally made the journey over from the Arctic – the latest arrival in 50 years.

Yearling Bewick’s swan Trotsky arrived at Slimbridge last week, a day earlier than the first visitor in 1967, Jammy.

Iconic to Slimbridge, Bewick’s swans migrate with the weather from the Arctic but with this year’s late autumn, their arrival in the UK has been delayed.

The arrival of the swan on the Rushy Pen marks the start of a celebrated period for the famous nature reserve, which hosts around 30,000 migratory birds every winter.

WWT Slimbridge’s resident swan expert Julia Newth said: “We’ve been on the edge of our seats but now our first Bewick’s swan is finally here, the mild weather delaying its arrival.

“Bewick’s swans are particularly special to WWT as Sir Peter Scott himself dedicated much of his time to studying the bird. 

“Watching Swan Lake fill with these remarkable swans is a sight to behold and the arrival of our first Bewick’s swans is the start of an exciting time ahead.”

Swan Lake at Slimbridge is perfectly maintained so that the birds have a comfortable place to recover from their long and arduous trip.

Wardens feed them three times a day and ensure that they are kept safe during their stay over the winter.

The plight of the species, which has been mysteriously declining in number, was highlighted last year by Sacha Dench from the centre who followed their migratory route on a paramotor.