Bittersweet news from The Bishop’s Palace as it is announced that Wynn, the remaining female of the pair of famous Palace Swans, has departed from the Moat, along with her four remaining cygnets.
Last seen on Thursday 18th October, it is thought that the family group may have headed off to the Somerset Levels, a popular site for groups of swans.
Wynn was the recipient of much media attention earlier this year when she was left widowed by the death of her life-partner Brynn whilst she was nesting. She battled on bravely and hatched 5 beautiful cygnets in May which she successfully reared to adulthood. By last week, one had already flown the nest and the others were experimenting with flying longer distances. It is thought that Wynn decided to depart with them, rather than be left alone, without her partner, on the Palace Moat.
According to Moira Anderson, Administrator and Swan Carer at The Bishop’s Palace, Wynn may have headed off in search of a ‘Swan Community’, as older swans and non-breeding juveniles are known to enjoy living in large groups.
Wynn and Bryn had lived at the Palace since 2013 when they travelled from Wales to take up residence in Wells. Wynn had successfully reared 45 cygnets since living at the Palace, and the swans and their cygnets have been an extremely well-loved feature of the Palace Moat.
The tradition began in the 1850’s, when Bishop Eden’s daughter Maria, taught a pair of swans to ring a bell on the Gatehouse when they wanted to be fed.
The tradition has continued to this day and the Palace fully intends to ensure that it goes on into the future. It is currently working alongside swan charities and sanctuaries to find a suitable new pair of breeding swans that are currently in need of a safe environment to live.