HICKLING: Drake leads his armada across the Broads


A very large family caught the eye of boaters and holidaymakers when they swam out into the sun for an outing on Norfolk’s tranquil Broads. Two parent geese along with 16 fluffy goslings paddled out in a perfect line in Hickling at the weekend, creating a delightful spectacle for onlookers.

Among them was Angela Lawrence who took this photo of the feathered family of greylag geese from her boat.

The 71-year-old, from Woodbridge in Suffolk, said: “We’ve got a boat on Hickling Broad and on the inlet down to the parish staithe there was this line of goslings, and you can count the heads. Hickling Broad is covered with these geese and they’re so sweet when they have got their young with them, but I’ve not seen a pair with so many.”

David North, head of people and wildlife at the Norfolk Wildlife Trust, said it was unusual to see a couple with so many young, but did not think all the goslings belonged to them.

“A normal brood size for greylags would be five to seven,” he added. “I think what’s happened is another brood, or another two broods, have all joined together. It’s not uncommon for greylag goslings to amalgamate into joint groups. They come together for safety.”

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