Staff at The Bishop’s Palace in Wells are celebrating after spotting a lone swan “swimming happily” around on the moat.
The animal is believed to be Wynn, the widowed palace swan, who was last seen in October 2018 when she took leave of the moat with her remaining four cygnets.
It is thought that she has been living on the Somerset Levels with her juveniles, but that as they will now have started living independent adult lives, she has returned to her former home.
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 five beautiful cygnets in May 2018 which she successfully reared to adulthood.
Wynn seemed content to be back on the moat, happily feeding from team member Jane Lawrence’s hand.
Palace staff are hopeful that Wynn will choose to return to her picturesque home full time, but are also holding out hope that she might entice a new partner to share her home and breed some more cygnets.
A palace sokesperson said: “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, with tourists waiting to see the gatehouse bell rung when the swans are hungry.
“The tradition began in the 1850s, when Bishop Eden’s daughter, Maria, taught a pair of swans to ring a bell on the gatehouse when they wanted to be fed.”