Canada geese are gorgeous birds to look at. But why, oh why, do I have to see them here at Glen Villa?
Towards the end of May I saw two adults swimming with their little ones. How many babies were there?
The goslings swam in and out of sight, and each time I counted I got a different number. But I could see there were a lot of them.
The next day I saw them again. And again I couldn’t get a firm count. But there were twelve or thirteen, for sure.
I first photographed the goslings on May 30 but I’d seen them several days earlier. They were tiny then. But by June 6, when I took the photo below, they were beginning to grow.
The goslings and their parents revelled in the fresh grass beside the pond, nibbling happily in the morning sun or the afternoon shade. Whenever a car turned onto the driveway, they rushed into the water where they were safe.
One day I got a clear count. There were 13. And since Canada geese return to their birthplace when they are ready to have babies, I slumped at the thought of how many geese we could anticipate seeing next year.
But the worst was yet to come. One day last week I saw a second family. There were only four babies but even so, my heart sank. Soon the parents would be leading the babies down the driveway to the Big Meadow. In 2016 we stopped cutting the grass there, in part to deter the geese, and the experiment had been working reasonably well. But with four adults and 17 babies?
The next day I saw them strolling confidently down the driveway, on their way to the lake. You’d think they owned the place.
The next day I saw six adults. They had no babies I could see. So were they grandparents or a pair whose eggs didn’t hatch?
I wish I could tell these geese to go home. But it looks like they are at home, and here to stay.