Birds of a feather

A beautiful sunny morning began with chasing the Grey Wagtails around the harbour mouth, trying and failing to get some decent photographs. I was just ready to head home and call it a day when I noticed several familiar figures gliding towards me across the sparkling water.

Mute swan family

It was the mute swan family, the 5 now well grown cygnets flanked by both parents as usual. Then to my enormous surprise, bringing up the rear was another bird. The Canada Goose had returned to the river, and it appears to have found a mate.

A pair of canada geese

Whilst I can’t say with 100% certainty this is the same goose that has been living alongside the swan family on and off for the past few years, all indications would be that it is. This goose is clearly comfortable around the larger white birds, and it has a silver ring on the same leg (although I haven’t got a record of the actual ring number).


The silver leg ring, sadly unreadable

Further reassurance that this was indeed the same goose is the interesting difference in behaviour shown towards it and it’s mate, by the adult swans.

Goose among it’s familiar companions


Swimming contentedly between two of the young swans


Whilst one goose was accepted back into the family almost immediately the ‘new’ goose was not so welcome. If it swam too close to the cygnets, the adult swans would aggressively chase it away, hissing with their wings raised in an aggressive posture.

Swan family chasing away the unfamiliar goose


IMG_3778 (2)
Attempting to get away


Eventually the new goose tired of the constant harassment and took off up river, disappearing out of sight.

Both parents succeeding in chasing off the stranger

Aside from this brief encounter, sadly I haven’t seen the second goose since. The other remains faithfully beside it’s old companions.

All photographs copyright of Claire Stott/Grey Feather Photography 2017 ©

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