Well fancy that……..some loud goose talk this morning alerted us to action on the wetland and we watched as the goslings, in single file, followed a parent across one of the ponds. We counted aloud, with increasing disbelief, to ten. Whether its good luck or good management we are unsure but it is more than three weeks since we last saw these goslings and there are many predators about. The goose family is still travelling with its entourage of aunts, uncles and cousins (difficult not to anthropomorphize) and perhaps this contributes to their, so far, successful parenting.
The first photo shows the family standing around on a clump of trampled sedge on which they have been resting in the sun. The goslings look strong and healthy but they stay close to the adults who carefully move them around the edges of the ponds. They do venture into open spaces but only when the scouts have flown around and given an “all clear”.
We were anxious to get some photos and so we tried to sneak up a little closer. Not a chance of success with the scouts well positioned in the tallest trees sounding an alarm as soon as we came in sight. So, we got on with other things hoping that they would move across to the pond nearest the hide. Finally our patience was rewarded and we had our chance to observe the geese without disturbing them.
Although the ‘parent’ geese are constantly searching for food (…up tails all!) to feed the family the goslings were managing to find some nourishment unaided. We watched them tug at lily flowers under the water with some success as well as feeding on other green bits.
As the dusk rapidly descended and the temperature dropped the parents moved the young family out of sight. The remaining adult geese were making the most of a quiet feed without the stress of helping to care for the kids.
We often hear the soft honking of geese at night, particularly when the night is clear and the moon is bright. I find the sound quite evocative as it reminds me that there are many creatures out feeding during the night.
We await tomorrow with interest.