I’m sure you’ll all be pleased to hear that the cygnets I told you about are all doing well. They’re growing quickly and starting to look more like small swans than little balls of fluff.
Today, I want to tell you about the geese. During the winter, they spent most of their time in large groups in a field next to the canal. In the Spring, they started to pair off and search for nesting sites. I agreed to keep an eye on them and compare notes with my friend Stella, the Great Newfenees, – she keeps watch on geese that nest by the lake near her house.
It has been more difficult than I anticipated to keep track of the geese. I’m told that in many places geese, like the swans and ducks here, view humans as walking food dispensers. The geese here ignore food if it’s offered and they are wary of humans. They share the swans’ view on dogs though – they hate us!
I only managed to spot three of their nests. They were in quiet places and fairly well hidden. Here’s a photograph of one of them.
The eggs in this nest hatched in the middle of May, a few days before the cygnets, but I didn’t see the goslings until they were almost two weeks old.
There’s a lot of tree blossom on the water because we’d had a few wet and windy days when the photograph was taken.
I’ve seen this family of geese on the canal a few times. They always swim in that perfect line, mother at the front followed by the babies and father keeping watch at the rear. They spend most of their time away from the canal in hidden places. I’m beginning to respect these geese – they are very security conscious!
When the geese were all together in a large group, they all looked identical. When they started pairing off I noticed that one in each pair was slightly larger and had a longer neck than the other one. This is how I can tell the goose and the gander apart.
See you soon!