A JERSEY wildlife photographer has captured a once-in-a-lifetime shot of a bird of prey hitching a lift on the back of a goose.
John Ovenden watched in amazement as the peregrine falcon landed on the bird and rode it for a few seconds – before jumping off, ‘eye-balling’ it and flying away.
But while Mr Ovenden and fellow photographers at the Scrape wetlands in St Ouen’s Bay were shocked by the impromptu ‘goose-surfing’, the load-bearing bird apparently remained cool, seemingly unperturbed by its unexpected passenger.
Describing the bizarre encounter, Mr Ovenden said: ‘We saw the peregrine chasing some little birds around and then all of a sudden it shot up behind this goose, slowed down a little bit and then rode it for a few seconds.
‘It then came alongside the goose and eye-balled it.
‘It was very weird – very unusual animal behaviour and I doubt I’ll ever see any-thing like that again.
‘The peregrine was not attacking the goose – geese are big birds and know how to look after themselves.
‘And the goose didn’t seem fazed by it at all, it just kept on flying.’
Mr Ovenden, who has been photographing wildlife since the late 1980s and posts his images on the John Ovenden Photography Facebook page, joked: ‘I don’t know why it did it – perhaps it had seen the new skate park and thought “I’ll have a go at that”.’