This week’s installment spans a little over a week in the life of the family. At this point, they were very visibly adolescent. It started slowly, with down feathers beginning to poke out.
Little down feathers begin to show.
But they are still soft and cuddly looking.
Food is still all important.
But their leg muscles are getting stronger looking.
Their colours are darker and they stand taller in grass kept slightly longer due to drought.
They seem taller still and more of their down is starting to poke at odd angles.
We were also coming into moulting season for the adults, which meant being earth-bound for weeks. I think it made Ralph a little fractious.
The next few are all from the afternoon of June 19.
They are still growing and eating all the time. I’m pretty sure the one sitting is Shy One. She still doesn’t seem as hail as the others.
The Geminis, who have done everything together, also seem to be shedding down feathers in the same puffy pattern!
Shy One stays with Alice whilst Dad’s Lieutenant meanders off. The Raven seems to be sizing things up. He’s definitely not large enough to carry one of these babies off, anymore.
While her brothers are beginning to look positively scruffy, Shy One’s down still seems to be relatively uniform.
The morning of June 20 brought some big visible changes.
They are getting so tall now that they resemble Emus more than Goslings!
But next to Mama and Papa, they still look like wee ones.
Even Shy One, lagging slightly behind, has begun looking scruffy.
She has plopped down, looking eager for whatever she’s found there. Her face markings are coming in so beautifully.
June 21 and 23. Not sure where I was on June 22, but I missed a whole day!
They are taller and darker, still.
While the boys seem to be puffing out all over, Shy One still looks relatively smooth. But the puffs at their tails are quite something!
An hour later, the sun hits them just so and their adult colouring pops. But one is going off on his own.
What’s this? It tastes great! Nettle Flowers!
Now everybody wants some!
That same week, I was at my window when one of the other predators showed up. It might not have been this one, as he looks pretty young; however, I’d be willing to bet it was a relative of his who decimated the family last year. Today, he has found a different source of food. All summer, I have watched the Ravens hide food under tufts of grass. Easy pickings for this young fox. The quality of some of these shots is not what I would have liked, but the action happened out my front windows, in which the glass is somewhat distorted from age. Also, I couldn’t keep up with the Raven, the action happened so quickly!
Hmmm, what’s this? Smells good.
I wonder if there’s more of this.
Check above and to the right of this shot, a very angry Raven is on the attack. This is his food!
He makes a move away from the food.
But not for long.
Another cache found and eaten.
One very angry Raven comes at him again.
Someone’s not really listening to the warnings.
The Raven comes in again, from behind this time.
He get’s caught by another whiff of food.
He rethinks, however, and decides on a different area.
Surely, there’s a food cache somewhere less dangerous.
He takes a look around.
Nose to the ground he searches. Or maybe, since he’s at my front door, he smells my dog,
He’s back to the start point.
The food caches are much more plentiful here.
He finallly crossed through the Laurel Hedge to the Ash Tree where the Goslings like to feed. Hmmm. Someone’s left a cache here!
So, water is the safe place. And it is there that we will go now. The Goslings aren’t the only ones on the pond today. Mama Duck and her wee ones are also out and about.
A safe resting place is a good thing to find.
Never far from the island, Mama Duck keeps an eye on her family.
This little guy was, uncharacteristically, all alone.
Just a little detail on the loner. I never did see his parents.
Scruffy teenaged Goslings.
Here, the scruffy teenager is really quite evident.
Mama Duck comes over for seed, but gets distracted. ‘Are these aliens?’ she seems to be saying.
And so, this week ends with our family, fledgling, moulting and happy in the water.
Next Sunday is Remembrance Sunday and I will be in London at the ceremonies at the Cenotaph on Whitehall. You can be sure that I’ll be taking photos and will post about the day, but I’ve a series that I’ve been working on to share on Remembrance Day weekend. We will leave the family here for a few days. Happy and safe.
I'm a Canadian who loves our planet and the people living on it. I also love to travel and take pictures. I'd like to think I've improved a little, but am pretty sure there's room to be better.
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2 thoughts on “On Fledglings and Predators”
Hi Kathy: My old system won’t open as many of these at one time. Think I’ve seen most of them. Have sent them on to June & Alayne (who by the way aren’t talking to each other any more – whole other story). Mom >
I am sorry about the computer issues. Time for a new one, I think! I have tried to keep the photo sizes as small as possible without impacting resolution and detail. I’ll keep trying. Love you.