There has been some speculation by the British press that the UK is due early snowfall and a harsh winter after the arrival of a migrating Bewick’s swan from Russia.
The swan arrived at the WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre in Gloucestershire on Sunday 11 October, the earliest date since records began at the site in 1963.
The swan usually heralds the start of winter, with around 300 of the animals migrating every year.
Studies have shown that the weather is a major influence on when Bewick’s swans migrate from Russia, with the wind direction being a particularly crucial factor.
It is thought low temperatures, snowfall and north easterly winds in Russia have encouraged Bewick’s swans to start their westwards migration through Europe early this year and not because winter is coming early or that we are in for a colder than usual winter.
— Met Office (@metoffice) October 12, 2015
Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust’s Julia Newth said: “Apparently there’s a Russian saying ‘the swan brings snow on its bill’, because they tend to move just ahead of the cold weather.
She added: “Of course, we can’t infer much from the arrival of a single swan but it’s certainly exciting this bird has arrived so early”.
Some British newspapers have suggested that due to the swans the early arrival, that this signify’s the UK is due one of the coldest winters ever along with record early snowfall, however, the Met Office say differently.
A Met Office spokesperson commented: “There is no sign of any snow for the UK, but low overnight temperatures will allow some localised frost and fog to form.”
“High pressure is currently dominating the weather over the UK with winds from the east bringing cold air.
They added: “Many places will stay dry with bright days and chilly nights with temperatures a little below, average for the time of year.”