This week’s stories surround wing training, swimming and protecting one’s family. As the Goslings grew, their muscles became much more pronounced while their colouring slowy softened from delicate yellow to a gentle grey. They were also able to go a little further from the pond; although, it would be quite a while before Ralph and Alice would allow them to cross the lane toward my window.
One morning, the family were on the far side of the property when they began to march down to the water. I’m not sure what started it, but some of the adults began flexing their wings. The little ones took over.
As they walked to the pond, Norton and Trixie decided to stretch. Dad’s Lieutenant followed suit.
Ralph and Alice also picked up on it, encouraging the Shy One and Dad’s Lieutenant further.
At this point, their leg muscles need work as much as their wing muscles, to allow them to run while they cannot fly.
For a moment, everything calmed while the little ones took a breather.
Then the Geminis began to flap, which got Dad’s Lieutenant and the Shy One started again.
As pair of Thrushes watch in the background, the Goslings keep running and flapping. It’s almost a race!
Dad’s Lieutenant and the Shy One overtake Alice.
Dad’s Lieutenant puts on a burst of speed, trying to overtake the Geminis.
In the end, all four had to stop running.
That was a long run!! Need food.
The inevitable Hooded Crow appeared as they approached the pond. Althought the Goslings were getting bigger and stronger, they were tired now and the adults kept watch as they went into the water.
The Hooded Crow appears the moment the Gosings are spread out a bit. The Shy One is hiding behind Alice.
Alice allows Shy One to overtake her, bringing her into view.
Alice moves up beside Shy One as the Hooded Crow faces Norton.
Shy One precedes Alice into the water’s edge as Norton hovers behind.
Norton and Trixie make one last check for predators. No Crow in sight.
The Hooded Crow watches as Norton and Trixie get to the Foxgloves at the pond. No snack today.
Later that day, the family came as close to my window as they were allowed at that point.
Later that day, we went down to the pond to take a look.
And then the family photo-op began.
The next day, the Goslings were a bit bigger. Certainly, with all four adults present, they were as safe as they could be. Not everyone agreed, however.
As the Goslings feed, the adults watch, preen and feed themselves. Crow number one arrives.
As all but Alice preen, another Crow arrives. The little ones look so tiny and easy to get.
As Crows 3 and 4 arrive, Ralph begins to stretch, Alice watches and the other adults preen. Dad’s Lieutenant, on the other hand, is now aware.
With no adults taking action, and another crow landing too close for comfort, Dad’s Lieutenant goes into defensive mode. He springs up, wings out to full, just like his ole dad, and chivies the other Goslings over to Alice.
Dad’s Lieutenant seems to stare down one of the Crows, as his siblings gather round Alice.
As the Crows seem to move off a bit, Dad’s Lieutenant relaxes a bit and joins the others with Alice.
As the other Goslings eat and the adults keep preening, Dad’s Lieutenant may have relaxed, but he can’t help making sure.
The Crows haven’t gone anywhere, but the adult have all stopped watching … overtly at least. Dad’s Lieutenant also relaxes a bit, but stays on his feet as he eats.
I have finally finished processing all the photos of this year’s family. There are many more posts to come following them through to the end of moulting season. I hope you are happy to stick it out and enjoy them as much as I do, reliving it all in sharing with you.