Seven goslings

I’m sure you’ll all be pleased to hear that the cygnets I told you about are all doing well. They’re growing quickly and starting to look more like small swans than little balls of fluff.

Today, I want to tell you about the geese. During the winter, they spent most of their time in large groups in a field next to the canal. In the Spring, they started to pair off and search for nesting sites. I agreed to keep an eye on them and compare notes with my friend Stella, the Great Newfenees, – she keeps watch on geese that nest by the lake near her house.

It has been more difficult than I anticipated to keep track of the geese. I’m told that in many places geese, like the swans and ducks here, view humans as walking food dispensers. The geese here ignore food if it’s offered and they are wary of humans. They share the swans’ view on dogs though – they hate us!

I only managed to spot three of their nests. They were in quiet places and fairly well hidden. Here’s a photograph of one of them.

A goose on the nest

Keeping the eggs warm

The eggs in this nest hatched in the middle of May, a few days before the cygnets, but I didn’t see the goslings until they were almost two weeks old.

Geese and goslings swimming

Swimming along

There’s a lot of tree blossom on the water because we’d had a few wet and windy days when the photograph was taken.

I’ve seen this family of geese on the canal a few times. They always swim in that perfect line, mother at the front followed by the babies and father keeping watch at the rear. They spend most of their time away from the canal in hidden places. I’m beginning to respect these geese – they are very security conscious!

When the geese were all together in a large group, they all looked identical. When they started pairing off I noticed that one in each pair was slightly larger and had a longer neck than the other one. This is how I can tell the goose and the gander apart.

See you soon!


  1. How lovely to see your geese! Nice to know somebody is keeping an eye on them too. Can never be too security conscious.
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  2. What wonderful photos Clowie! They all look very healthy and happy…….YAY!

    Hugs, Teddy
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  3. So happy to hear that the cygnets are ALL doing well! The geese family that you have pictured here are much more private and protective than the geese in cities where we live. Better I think to be this way. The geese that hang out around the farm ponds where we live do not have anything to do with people and we leave them alone. Nice pictures… love the “Swimming along” picture. Sweet family! I did manage to get my site correct today so no urgent emails… Ha!

    • Yes, I think it’s better if they don’t beg for food. Humans often feed them things that aren’t really good for them.

      You must be more awake today! 😀 But it’s always nice to hear from you.

  4. So great that they have such a good chance of survival!
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  5. Lovely photographs…took me back to when we had geese when living in France.
    They were fine with us and our dogs…but not with anyone else.
    When there was a bird `flu scare our vet certified that all ours were enclosed `because your property is enclosed by a wall`.
    We were `denounced`of course and the gendarmerie came to the gate to interview us.
    Which was as far as they came because 35 infuriated geese arrived at the other side to see them off.
    Heard no more about it.

  6. Wonderful. I love how they form into the single line. Love the photo.

  7. Very cool. Even in the goose ‘world’ security is important.

  8. Too adorable. Saw my first gosling a couple weeks ago in real life. Squee!!!!
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  9. Geese are really tough and can be downright mean-spirited be careful, Clowie!

    • Yes, they can, I will keep my distance. Yesterday, I was told that the gander chased a pal of mine (border collie) because he thought she was too close to the edge of the bank!

  10. Very observant! So is the mother always at the front? I saw some goslings with adults on the way to work one morning, just in someone’s yard, but I haven’t seen them again since.
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    • The mother has been at the front each time I’ve seen them. I don’t know if it’s the same for other families of geese.

  11. You have a good eye. I’ll have to start looking at necks when I come across goslings on our travel.
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  12. I love the pics Clowie – and I also love how you always keep an eye on them. Very nice!
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