Dear Readers, geese seem to have featured quite a lot in these pages over the past few months, and I fear today will be no exception, because on my visit to Walthamstow Wetlands this week we were tripping over them. The Canada geese are claiming the high ground and chasing one another off of every prime spot. I am thinking of calling this series of photos ‘Goose With Bollard’.
The greylags are a little more peaceable, but only a little. This little group were on high alert for intruders onto their patch.
The cormorant that I photographed last time still has his favourite perch, and no obvious mate.
Though even he seems eager to keep his territory clear of other birds.
I am hoping that this greylag is just having a rest, and isn’t actually planning on nesting on this most unpromising spot.
Everywhere there’s the sound of bird song, with robins, wrens and even dunnocks singing from the top of every shrub. But it’s not until we get to the ponds on the other side of the main road that we see the real argy-bargey, with the coots beating one another up with no restraint whatsoever. They seem to fight mainly with those big grey webbed feet.
So, the Wetlands was certainly lively today, and full of creatures trying to sort out their territories and make the most of their breeding opportunities. In just a few weeks everyone will be much more occupied with the serious business of raising the next generation, and the energy levels will reach their annual high. And then, it will all fall strangely silent. But for now, there’s lots of testosterone-fuelled action going on, most of it of the ‘handbags-at-dawn’ variety rather than anything more serious. Most animals know that mortally injuring one another should always be a last resort. What a shame that we don’t seem to have learned that particular lesson.