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One Swan Does Not Make A Winter!! (GEDDIT!!)

October 13, 2015

By Paul Homewood    


h/t Joe Public  




From the Telegraph:

Britain is facing its longest winter in 50 years after the earliest-ever arrival of a Siberian swan which traditionally heralds the start of the season.

Each year around 300 Bewick’s swans migrate 2,500 miles from Arctic Russia to escape the approaching cold weather which follows closely behind them.

They flock to the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust reserve at Slimbridge, Glos, where their arrival has been recorded since 1963.

The first bird arrived on Sunday – a full 25 days earlier than last year and the earliest date on record.

It coincided with the first frosts of the autumn in the area and experts say its early return could be a sign of a long, hard winter ahead. 

Last year, it was the opposite:




In the event, last winter was pretty average.






As far as the early winter is concerned, the Met Office is forecasting a likelihood of warmer than average weather:





So we’ll have to wait and see whether Julia or the swan is correct. Whatever the case, you can bet your bottom dollar that global warming will be to blame!

  1. October 13, 2015 12:36 pm

    What ever happened to examining extrails?

    • October 13, 2015 12:37 pm

      That would be “entrails”.

      • 1saveenergy permalink
        October 13, 2015 7:32 pm

        Extrails is correct,
        … after minutely examining the “entrails” there is a 97% consensus they will no longer be fit for purpose,…. but could be fit to feed to porpoise.

        (from the soothsayers almanac )

  2. October 13, 2015 12:44 pm

    It wasn’t one swan, but 300. It’s worse than we thought.

    • RayG permalink
      October 13, 2015 8:16 pm

      But but but, they aren’t black swans.

  3. rifleman1853 permalink
    October 13, 2015 12:48 pm

    As swans have spent hundreds of thousands (millions?) of years either getting their forecasts right, or dying, I’d back them against the Met Office, any day.

    “The first bird arrived on Sunday – a full 25 days earlier than last year and the earliest date on record. It coincided with the first frosts of the autumn in the area and experts say its early return could be a sign of a long, hard winter ahead.”

    If the ‘experts’ have been correctly quoted, they are guilty of gross over-simplification – as any horse or pony owner can tell you. The birds early return could equally mean an average winter, or even a mild winter, but with an early start – or simply a very cold snap in November.

    The Thoroughbred horse I used to have never, ever got it wrong; however the weather turned out, he always grew enough coat, and just at the right time. And my friend’s Welsh Cobs were never caught out, either. A few million years hard experience against a computer spreadsheet (which is all the Met Office’s “computer models” amount to)?

    No contest!

  4. October 13, 2015 12:55 pm

    Whenever I hear this sort of thing, I have to ask, how do creatures involved know?
    How do they forecast weather better than our best super computers?
    The fact that Siberian swans are arriving early, probably points to it being unusually cold where they have come from, rather than to an unusually cold winter in the UK.

    • October 13, 2015 1:04 pm

      Animals and migration and weather. What we don’t know! The Monarch Butterfly migrates north from Mexico. It breeds, lays eggs, and dies. The next year, after the offspring emerge and metamorphose, they continue the migration and return to the same branch of the same tree in Mexico. (so I have read)

    • Alan permalink
      October 13, 2015 1:43 pm

      I’m with you QV. I doubt very much that the swans sitting in Siberia thought “Ay up, it looks like it might be getting a bit parky in the UK better get there quick” probably more likely “Jeez its brass monkeys here in Siberia, I’m off early”

      Either way, if its a toss up between Sligo and a swan, I’m siding with the swan and getting my thermals out!

      • October 13, 2015 4:16 pm

        According to the BBC weather forecast, it was colder than normal where the swans were.

        Also the easterly wind helped, but I don’t know how unusual that is.

    • Le Gin permalink
      October 14, 2015 11:45 am

      The Wildebeest of East Africa have huge sensor arrays in their long snouts that detect ionic changes in the water vapour of the atmosphere, which is why they “know” when to herd and move the 2000 or so miles from the Serengeti to the MasaiMara and vice-versa.
      I would suspect other animals to have other kinds of chemo-sensory perceptions that allows them to “make” decisions such as when to migrate.

  5. Andrew Duffin permalink
    October 13, 2015 1:10 pm

    The Met Office is predicting warmer weather than usual?

    No! Say it ain’t so!

  6. Dave N permalink
    October 13, 2015 1:30 pm

    I feel sorry for the Siberians if the swans felt the need to get out of there already…

  7. October 13, 2015 1:58 pm

    We have a primrose just flowering (only one) – is it a harbinger of Spring just around the corner ? Please don’t answer.

  8. Billy Liar permalink
    October 13, 2015 9:28 pm

    That record breaking swan is daft. It’s only one year old, what does it know?

  9. October 13, 2015 10:22 pm

    As I live just a few miles from where this said swan is beading down for the winter, I can only marvel at how well I seem to be adapting to this global cooling, still able to wear my shorts out in the Garden in mid October, still getting a huge crop of sweet pea flowers every week and still getting rose blooms. Yes we are all adapting to the cold, both animals and plants. After a dull late Summer and poor September we are having a warmer than usual October. In other words the usual mix of unpredictable weather.

  10. Steve McDonald permalink
    October 14, 2015 2:02 am

    Can someone explain to me in easily understood terms how the 97% of climate scientists agree term was arrived at.

    Numbers and formula please.

    • 1saveenergy permalink
      October 14, 2015 8:38 am

      I’ve tried to answer twice with links; must have gone to modulation ???
      3rd attempt –

      Doran & Zimmerman then chose to highlight the views of that subgroup of 77 scientists, 75 of whom thought humans contributed to climate change.
      [ So…. not an unbiased survey OR a large and broad group ]

      The ratio 75/77 produces the 97% figure that pundits now tout.

      The REAL numbers of American Geophysical Union members agreeing on ‘anthropogenic global warming’ are –
      75 of 77 answering Question 2** is 97.4%…
      75 of 3,146 respondents is only 2.38%.
      75 of 10,257 contacted is only 0.73%.
      75 of 61,000 possible is only 0.12%.

  11. Le Gin permalink
    October 14, 2015 10:07 am

    “…As far as the early winter is concerned, the Met Office is forecasting a likelihood of warmer than average weather…”

    All you need to know really, you can be sure that the Swans are right.

  12. A C Osborn permalink
    October 14, 2015 11:24 am

    This might help to explain what made up the Swan’s mind for it.

    Note up to -5.2 degrees C.
    Plus there is early snow in many places.


  1. One Swan Does Not A Winter Make! | The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)

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