An enduring friendship

A familiar face has returned to Aberystwyth harbour after dissapearing shortly before the mute swan hatchlings emerged from their nest. Now that the surviving cygnet is 4 months old and almost as large as it’s parents, the lone Canada Goose has returned and has been accepted back into to his unusual flock.

Welcomed back into the family


Quite why this goose has formed such an attachment to this particular pair of swans and returns year on year is intriguing. Perhaps it is just sticking close to swans for company and protection in the absence of other geese, or maybe it became imprinted on the swans at a young age?

Following the cygnet

Whatever the reasons such a high level of tolerance from the swans to their smaller companion does seem unusual as swans will often chase and even drown other birds who get too close to their young.

Goose and cygnet swimming in golden water

After a morning of feeding in the shallow harbour gap the swans and goose then settled down on the grassy bank and drifted off to sleep, completely relaxed in each other’s company.

Drifting off…


Resting together
Two’s company


This is the second year that I have seen the goose and swans together (apart from the brief periods of separation during the summer breeding months). It will be interesting to see how long this unique relationship will endure…

All photographs copyright of Claire Stott/Grey Feather Photography 2016 ©

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