Goosle Fledgling: Flapping and Flight!
More triumphant in large ("L").
Hum, I'll try to keep this brief but there is good news and there is bad news.
The good news is that today I saw the Goosle fledgling fly and it was absolutely magnificent! It had been peeping/croaky-chattering for ages, and then was finally given the go-ahead by Mrs. (who first checked that the sky was clear!) and it took off from land, wheeled around over the grass and came down to fly low over the water and island. It turned beyond the island and dropped to attempt a landing, but ended up running along the surface in a big splashy panic, bounced up into the air again, flew on for a bit, and came down to successfully water-ski to a halt by the pontoon near its parents! What excitement; it was both exhilarating and hysterical to watch. The exertion/panic/excitement on its face was clear to see, and while it looked superb in the air, its landing was quite hilariously awful! Funny little thing... A man came over to ask about its sibling just before it took off, so while I got some pictures (including ones that I was fairly pleased with), I didn't get the ones I wanted, and didn't get ones that I preferred over my blip and alternatives... This is the fledgling flapping after an intense preening session! I'm sure I'm projecting my excitement onto it, but it looks proud and v. elegant here; it is really spreading its wings!
I've also uploaded two flapping alternatives:
I blipped the fledgling in celebration of its spectacular flight, but saw a young Canada goose flapping was really my favourite image of the day. It is one of the two young Canada geese currently on Eagle Pond with their parents, and its wing span and powerful wing beats are impressive. It is considerably larger than Mr. Goosle!
I've also uploaded a picture of Mrs. Goosle flapping after a preening session; she's v. pretty, and also looks v. impressive with her large wings spread and beautiful specula aglow.
Argh, but the bad news is very bad...
Mr. Goosle has a fishing hook piercing his cheek; I only noticed it this evening when looking through my pictures, but on examining my other pictures from the weekend it is clear that it has been there since at least Saturday (but probably longer). I hadn't seen them since the Thursday before that, so who knows how long it has been there...
Poor Mr. Goosle. There is no blood and it doesn't look inflamed, but it certainly needs attention as it has pieced his cheek and could cause further damage if it catches on something or gets infected. I've spoken to Ann and she's going to see if she can help (and will let Jurgen know as well in case he can visit sooner). I asked her about helping Mr. whilst keeping him with Mrs. and the fledgling, and she said that it might well be possible to treat it on site, but if they have to take him to The Swan Sanctuary they could always return him so long as a speedy recovery is likely.
The fishermen have a lot to answer for. I'm going to gather all of my injured bird pictures (argh, that might take a while...) and send them both to the Environmental Officer for Lambeth and the local press. Something has to change; this harm and damage simply cannot be allowed to continue unchecked.