Goslings at Falmer Pond

I had a lovely surprise this morning when I arrived at Falmer Pond. The greylags have produced a clutch of goslings. There are eight youngsters and they seem to be doing very well indeed. Here they are sheltering from the drizzle under the safe wing of mother goose.

goslings sheltering under goose

One of the characteristics of geese is that they are very protective of their young. There’s always one or two adults in very close proximity, and often the other geese lend a hand forming a phalanx or circle around the new brood.



As the day grew busier the adults sensibly ushered the chicks to the safety of the water. As in previous years the local white goose has adopted the role of protector-in-chief, making sure no harm comes to the babies.

greylag goslings

There’s also been a little more progress on the fox front. We’re still in the lurking stage (the fox hangs back in the undergrowth and I daren’t move), but the fox is slowly becoming more tolerant and curious. To make things slightly easier on myself, I’ve started using a longer lens! This is one from tonight.


Camera note: gosling photos taken with the Canon 7D and EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L USM IS lens. The fox was photographed with the EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM lens.

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  1. Darko May 3, 2014 at 2:37 pm #

    Is it a light (or lack of it, to be precise) or that grey thing on its chest is a dirt from the hole or bush where it is hiding? It should be white, as far as I know…

    No need to comment goslings, they are just too cute 🙂

    • Words May 4, 2014 at 5:20 pm #

      Darko, I’ve not been able to get close to him but I think that he has some dark patches there, plus maybe some dirt. You’re right that it should be white.

  2. derwandersmann May 23, 2014 at 4:39 am #

    I think greylags are the prettiest wild goose …
    And that fox is dirty!

    • Words May 24, 2014 at 7:05 pm #

      dW, can’t dispute that he’s a bit of a mess, but he’s also the most regular visitor to the garden.