... with one eye open.

By Chamaeleo

Goosle Fledgling Doesn't Like Pigeons

Yes, those feathers belong to the pigeon! Naughty little Goosle...

Gosh, what a dramatic morning...
I went to Eagle Pond with my mother to meet Ann for another Goosle rescue attempt. Mr. & Mrs. were nowhere to be seen (grrr), but the little one was hanging around with the Canada geese and greylags, and there was also another Egyptian fledgling there! It is smaller than the little Goosle and doesn't yet have eye patches, but was also very cute.
Poor Ann: another frustrating trip... Or so it seemed, because one of the juvenile Canada geese didn't look right (its crop was very bulgy and prominent and it wasn't eating), so she quickly caught it and put it in a basket in her car so that the Swan Sanctuary could look it over. What a hero! It resisted capture, but once she had it in her arms with its back to her and its wings folded, it calmed right down (resigned...) and didn't seem terribly troubled which was a surprise to me.

Off she went, but the drama didn't stop there: Mr. & Mrs. flew back in to Eagle pond with another Egyptian goose which landed near us. It was pale and rather slender and although it had adult markings its beak had no dark markings so I think it is quite a young goose. Mr. and Mrs. did NOT like it hanging around (not at all) and also strongly disapproved of the other little fledgling, so kept chasing both of them around. Mr. doesn't like interlopers...

Gawd, the (very) unpleasant moment was when a man approached me with a piece of paper in his hand... It turns out that my letter was published in the Wandsworth Guardian, and he didn't exactly seem pleased. He'd been given it by the Environmental Officer for Lambeth (how kind). I can't quite establish what today's chap does: he isn't a water bailiff and doesn't actually fish, but he suggested that he represents the fishermen ("I'm an intermediary between the council and the fishers"). He also told me that he knows martial arts (!? Wow, how passive-aggressive). He said that my "article" was inflammatory. It was news to me that they'd published it; he asked if it was what I wrote (very aggressively) so I looked it over (it was what I wrote, only trimmed down in size and detail...) and replied, truthfully, "That's not exactly what I wrote".
I defended my view, and he produced a whole load of excuses and told me that it was the action of a few Polish people (he seemed racist, and also ranted about homosexuality on the common. What?!). I tried to keep my cool, but felt irritated both by his intolerance and his denial of facts ("I have photographs showing the injured birds, the amount of line left around, and the graffiti, and I and others have witnessed active abuse, both of wildfowl and people, on numerous occasions"); he seemed to think that the act of training more water bailiffs ("including junior water bailiffs!") was a magic fix for the problem. The current ones haven't prevented the behaviour so why would new ones?
Eventually he left, and I breathed a sigh of relief. I'm now worried that my letter is being distributed to the anglers and they know who I am. I've already (recently) had nightmares about them hurting the Goosles in retaliation...

Moving on (sorry, this has been an epic blip): I'm trying not to get too excited as I've been tricked before, but on neither visit today have I been able to see the hook in Mr's cheek; it is not visible in any of my photographs either, although his facial feathers did have some gaps which could be caused by the hook lying low against his skin, or they could simply be ruffled. I'll try to confirm tomorrow!

p.s. Very close shot of Mr. He is very handsome!
p.p.s. Greylag geese have extremely serrated tongues. I knew that they had serrated edges, but the degree of the serrations/"teeth" in greylags was a surprise!

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