Twelve days ago I received a phone call from a very upset friend. She had just spotted a goose covered in blood wandering near our village pond and wondered what she should do. I told her not to worry I’ll come straightaway to see if there is anything I can do.

I had no idea how injured the goose was or whether it could be saved but I pulled on my boots and ran round the corner to investigate.

We have a variety of species of bird living around the village pond including Mallards, Coots, Moorhens and even the occasional Kingfisher is spotted. There is also a pair of geese too.

These geese are real characters and well loved by the locals and can often be seen in the middle of the road slowing down traffic and generally strutting their stuff.

I’ve even photographed them as part of my #100Sunrises challenge…

Not looking good…

As I arrive at the pond it was obvious that the goose was in a pretty bad state. Well I say that but it was walking around a little and seemed reasonably alert. There was a lot of blood around its neck and head but the rest of the body seemed fine. Had it been hit by a car or attacked by another creature?

I was soon joined by another concerned local who seemed to know a little more. Apparently she had seen and heard a woman in tears shouting at her dog earlier in the afternoon around 3pm. It was now 5.15pm. The injuries did indeed look consistent with a possible dog attack.

Ok, so what options do I have? I didn’t want to try and catch the goose as a) I’ve never done it before, b) I had no where to keep it safe and c) I didn’t want to stress it out anymore that it already was. Lets face it, it’s had a pretty rough day already.

Oh, and d) It had a very protective friend!

So what other options were there? Well, calling a local wildlife rescue centre was out of the question as we don’t have one in Ipswich or the surrounding area so, at the time, I felt the only option left was to call the RSPCA. By this time the local RSPCA centre was closed so I had to call the national helpline. The call was dealt with efficiently and I was told that the details would be passed onto one of their local officers and they would attend as soon as they could.

Having done all I could at that point I thought I would wait on the bench nearby to keep an eye on the goose until the RSPCA arrived.

Waiting…and waiting….and waiting….

Now, I know that the RSPCA is particularly busy this time of year but little did I know how long I would be waiting by that pond. An hour went by and then another and another. I passed the time chatting to various locals who came along to see what was happening and tweeting updates to lots of concerned followers on Twitter. I also wandered around the pond and found what must have been the location of the attack.

It was soon dark and by the time it got to 10pm I came to the conclusion that the RSPCA wasn’t going to show up. So I tore myself away from the pond and made my way home.

After a sleepless night I was back at the pond by 7am. The goose was still in the same spot and seemed OK but was having trouble turning its neck to tend to the feathers on its back. I was worried that it hadn’t been able to eat either.

Wondering whether the RSPCA would turn up this morning I took to twitter again to update everyone following.

I was contacted by the lovely Jenny (@who_giveahoot) who volunteered to drive all the way from the Bungay area of Suffolk to help rescue the goose. As I hadn’t heard anything from the RSPCA to update me on their intentions I took Jenny up on her offer.

Jenny had a couple of things to do first but would leave within half an hour. I told her I would meet her by the pond.

About forty five minutes later the RSPCA turned up! Great for the goose, not so great for poor Jenny who was half way through her journey. I immediately called her to give her an update. Pleased that the RSPCA had arrived Jenny decided to continue her journey spurred on by my invitation for tea and biscuits.

It had been a frustrating 16 hours or so but the goose had now been taken by the RSPCA and I had made a new friend via the power of wildlife and Twitter.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone on Twitter for your kind comments and support during the saga and particularly Jenny for her selfless devotion to helping and protecting wildlife. It was lovely to meet you Jenny.

A Happy Ending

I am pleased to let you know that a few days later the goose was back on the pond swimming around with its buddy. A happy ending for this particular goose thanks to the work of some concerned locals and the RSPCA.

Lets keep our fingers crossed that dog walkers visiting the area around the pond keep better control over their pets in the future.