Thursday, 16 February 2012

Trouble With Foxes

We seem to have quite a few foxes on the farm and I have heard a lot of barking at night over the past month.  I try to take a live-and-let-live attitude; it's fine providing they stay down in the woods, feasting on bunnies and any small squeekies they can find. Unfortunately, the foxes don't play by the same rules.  That's the thing about wildlife.

I went away last weekend for a couple of days (of which more later) and came back to the sad news that a fox had taken my favourite gander, Agamemnon.  Normally the geese manage to stay out of the way, sitting in the middle of the pond during the night if need be.  This time, it looks like Aggie got cornered in the cow pen.  The remaining two are evidently traumatised by the attack and have become very aggressive through fear, starting at every movement they see.  It doesn't help that the remaining two have never really liked each other and now have to put up with each other's company.  They'll be better guard-geese for a while, but I have to resort to crooning songs and whistling gently to calm them down enough to eat and preen while I stand guard for them, instead of attempting to peck my legs.

Aggie was the only one of the three who would let me stroke his gorgeously soft back feathers in return for food.  He used to love stretching his wings to show off the white tips.  I'll miss him.

Here are the geese a fortnight ago, as a rainbow appeared ... and Aggie showing off his wings as the sun came out and the rainbow disappeared.

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