There was a pleasant surprise waiting down in the harbour this morning when a Canada Goose and her five adorable goslings were spotted gliding across the milky harbour water in the high tide gap.
At first all seemed calm and tranquil however it was soon clear that the mother goose was in some distress, swimming in circles honking continuously to her mate who I could hear responding from a distance.
Goose and her five goslings
As the mother searched frantically for her mate the goslings stuck close to their mothers side, swimming in tight formation and uttering their own chirping contact calls.
Honking anxiously to her mate, out of sight
Goslings sticking close to their mother are she swims frantically in search of her mate
Mother and goslings
The reason for the goose pairs’ separation soon became clear when I took a look outside the harbour walls. The male goose was being prevented from getting to his young family by the prescience one of the resident swan pair (presumably the cob) who was behaving very aggressively with wings raised, and chasing the goose away when it attempted to enter the narrow entrance to the harbour. The female swan and cygnet were nowhere to be seen but presumably not too far away judging by the protective behaviour of the male.
Unfortunately much of the action and drama took place too far away for any decent photographs but I am happy to report, the goose family were reunited safely a short time later as the swans eventually retreated upstream.
Is one of these geese the individual who has been seen living alongside the Rheidol swan pair on and off over the past few years? It’s impossible to tell without seeing a leg ring, but it would be fascinating to think it was.
This goose was seen with a mate towards the end of last year (see here) so all indications would suggest these are one and the same birds. It would appear that our goose has finally parted company with it’s unconventional family to start one of it’s own!
— All photographs copyright of Claire Stott/Grey Feather Photography 2018 © http://www.greyfeatherphotography.com
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