A gravid goose on the loose turned the UK's coronavirus lockdown into an on-nest 'flockdown' by laying an egg in a flower planter at a normally crowded train station.
Once again, wildlife is doing its best to fill in the spaces left by locked-down and self-isolating humanity. One of these spaces is the cavernous foyer of York Railway Station, an historic rail junction on the East Coast Main Line that boasts 11 platforms and serves nearly 10 million passengers annually. York Railway Station is one of only ten stations awarded a five-star rating by Simon Jenkins, author of “Britain's 100 Best Railway Stations”.
The station opened in 1877 and has been renovated several times since then, most recently in 2006 when the approaches to the station were modernized. Presumably, the improvements included the installation of a large decorative planter in the center of the front foyer. Commuters aren't the only ones who appreciate the station's latest upgrades, however. A Greylag Goose – one of several hundred geese who frequent the station's environs – has given it a rating which at first glance would appear to be quite negative: a goose egg!
As posted at the British Transport Police North Yorkshire's Twitter account, “This (Sunday) afternoon, PCSO Ridley was on patrol at York Train Station when he noticed this goose had laid an egg amongst the flowers in the normally extremely busy main entrance. Amazing.” Considering the nearly-deserted state of the station due to the current COVID-19-related lockdown, police said they had no plans to intervene and will be leaving the goose and its egg alone.
The best-laid plans of geese and men are soon undone, to bend an old cliché, as station staff arriving for duty Monday morning could find nary a trace of the goose nor its egg! What fowl business was this? A spokesperson for LNER tried to put the best face on the Goose Egg Incident, stating “After her visit to York railway station, we are hoping the goose has made it back home, along with her egg, and that they'll stay there and stay safe.” We hope so too though to our knowledge, unladen geese are not naturally equipped to move eggs once they've been laid. Perhaps she took the train. (via York Press, images via BTP North Yorkshire)