The Castlefield goslings

When I wrote in my third Manchester Flower Show post that I’d been very disappointed with the ‘towers of flowers’ installation on Deansgate Square I didn’t say that was the second time I’d been to look for it. The flower show website had given its location as Deansgate Square, Owen Street and a look on Google maps showed me where Owen Street was. With the photo I wanted to recreate firmly in my mind I went there on my first visit to the show but looking for the floral installation was like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack.
Finding Owen Street was no problem, whatΒ wasΒ Β a problem was finding what I was actually looking for. The three high rise towers in the internet photo were over on the left but the whole street for quite a distance along was just one massive great sectioned off building site surrounded by huge hoardings advertising ‘Deansgate Square Phase 1’ or 2 or 3 etc. I even asked a couple of builders where this flower thing was but they hadn’t a clue so after wandering further along the street and still not finding it I gave up and headed back towards the city centre – and that’s when I had a lovely and very unexpected surprise.
The Castlefield goslings have been the subject of several Instagram posts and comments over the last few weeks. Along with a couple of adult geese they (presumably) live in and around the Castlefield Basin but for some unknown reason like to commute to the streets at the other side of Deansgate, taking their lives in their webbed feet by crossing the extremely busy main road. It beats me how they haven’t been squashed by now but traffic does seem to stop for them.
As I crossed the end of a side street behind Deansgate I looked to my right and walking down the middle of the street were several fluffy yellow goslings, two older ones and a couple of adult geese. The little ones ran onto a patch of spare land and spent a good five minutes pecking at the weeds growing round the edge, watched over by one of the adults before they all set off in a line down the street towards Deansgate.
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With hindsight I should really have gone to the main road to get a shot of them crossing it but some street art caught my attention and by the time I did get round to Deansgate they had disappeared. I finally found the flower installation a few days later after asking someone who posted a photo on Instagram – the flower show organisers really should have put proper details of its location on their website as it was in such an obscure place. It was while I was in that area for the second time that I went to explore the Castlefield Basin and saw the goose family in the Bridgewater Canal.
Mentally counting the goslings I found the same number as I’d seen a few days previously so at least none of them had become victims of the Deansgate traffic. No doubt by the time I make another visit to Castlefield the goslings will be all grown up so seeing them walking down the street a few days previously had been a lovely surprise which I’ll remember for quite some time.

18 thoughts on “The Castlefield goslings

  1. Oh my goodness how cute are they! I love your last photo with them all in a line presumably being led by mother goose. My heart would have been in my mouth seeing them on the road near traffic. I hope they stay safe.


  2. I knew you would like the little ones πŸ™‚ There was one straggler in that line up, he was lagging behind so just out of shot though he did catch them up round the corner. They didn’t seem to mind me being close enough to photograph them either, although obviously I didn’t disturb them. Seeing them when I did was a million-to-one chance – if I’d actually found the flower thing I was looking for I would have missed them.


    1. I’d known about them from Instagram but never thought I would actually get to see them so it was a lovely surprise when I did – definitely a case of being in the right place at the right time πŸ™‚


  3. How lovely, and so incongruous. I wonder if any soft-hearted (daft!) locals are putting grain or other food down for them – I know I would if I lived there πŸ™‚


    1. When I saw them on the canal a few days later some kids were throwing some bread for them so they were all milling around too much for me to get a decent photo. If they frequent those side streets regularly then maybe someone does put something down for them – the older ones made no attempt to hiss at me when I was photographing them so maybe they are ‘sort of’ familiar with humans πŸ™‚


  4. Thank you. The goslings were really cute and it was such a surprise seeing them when I could quite easily have been further along the road and missed them.


  5. I tend to work on the ‘don’t annoy them and they won’t bother you’ principle so I got close enough for the photos but not so close they felt threatened. I’ve seen them again today, they were on the canal and the little ones are a bit bigger now but still squeaking πŸ™‚


  6. They certainly are, and the way they were all walking in a line reminds me of a crocodile of nursery school children with their teachers πŸ™‚


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