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Oldest Bewick's swan flies into Slimbridge record books

Winterling, an elderly swan at WWT Slimbridge
Winterling arrived in 1982 and has since flown over 143,000 miles

An elderly Bewick's swan has flown into the record books at Gloucestershire's Slimbridge by returning there for the 28th year.

The swan, known as Winterling, touched down this week making her the oldest swan known to have visited the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) centre.

Winterling has outlived three mates and brought four cygnets back to the reserve over the years.

A spokesperson said "she must have seen some sights" during her 143,000 miles of flying.

Winterling first arrived in 1982 as a cygnet with her parents Albert and Rachel.

After learning the 2,500 mile migration route from breeding grounds in arctic Russia, she has returned most years since.

The "grand old lady of the lake" is also just one year off equalling the record for the oldest Bewick's swan to have been recorded in the wild.

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