June 13th – One of the more fascinating things about the commonly derided and scorned Canada goes is their propensity to social support between families.
On the way home from work this evening, four adults (one dallying out of shot) and two broods of goslings numbering a dizzying total of 12 youngsters in two distinct stages of growth indicated that two families were hanging out together and probably sharing childminding and security duties.
Can’t think of any other wild birds that do this.
Lovely to see, and I got hissed at in quadrophonic!
June 8th – On the local canals, it’s still multiplication time, and I was pleased to note in passing that the swans nesting in the Walsall Wood canalside garden had hatched a single cygnet. This pair have never had big broods, and last year hatched a pair.
Good to see the little grey ball of fluff and nice to see how attentive the parents are. I look forward to watching this wee one grow.
Meanwhile the Canada geese continue to promenade in their lines, share chick-care duties with other mums and hiss aggressively at observers.
This is always such a lovely, busy time on the canals.
May 3rd – Nearby, in Pleck, a sight curiously not seen often, which is odd considering the proliferation of Canada geese: A nest being sat by a parent. Interestingly, unlike a swan nest, I could see no obvious partner nearby.
The sitter seemed comfortable, but the nest was much smaller than that of a swan.
It’s be interesting to see when the new arrivals make an appearance. I’d guess they’ll be hatching soon.
March 30th – A day of rest, with a journey up to Tesco in the late afternoon. The rain seems to be settled upon us for the weekend, which is a bit of a blow, but the forecast clearly isn’t as bad as many had predicted with a return to snow and ice.
I guess I should stop moaning, really; at this time in 2013 there was still lying snow around and it was very cold. And we are more prone to white eEasters than white Christmases in this country. But it feels like I’m missing out.
In Brownhills, the waterfowl didn’t seem to mind. One swan partner of the nesting pair just up around the bend was idling, and came over, hoping for food, and was grumpy when none was forthcoming. The Canada geese, however, were just loafing, and paid me little heed. We stood for a while together, just listening to the rain on the water.
There had better be a decent summer after this…
March 23rd – lAte at night, I needed to pay a call in Brownhills and found the High Street and Silver Street canalside deserted. The night was still, there was little traffic but I was surprised to note even at a late, dark hour Canada geese were active on the canal bank.
I hope they’re keeping their wits about them – I also saw a large, male urban fox in the High Street and he’ll soon have mouths to feed too.
March 22nd – Still a nip in the air, but all along the canals of the Black Country, life is waking up, shaking off the taper of a long winter and getting on with nature’s imperative – and that included the waterfowl.
I notice lots of ducks, Canada geese and swans now closely paired for mating, busily courting each other and nest building.
A lovely sign that better days are on the way…
June 19th – Returning from work I noted the Catshill Canada goose commune which appears to consist of two inseparable families was thriving. They don’t seem to have lost any of the goslings, and the older set are developing apace now, losing their mousey fluff and growing adult plumage, and the first wing feathers.
They have healthy appetites and are healthy, busy birds.
I noticed not far up the bank Mrs. Mallard with her newly hatched brood, which may well be her second set of the summer.
She was very proud and relaxed. I love to follow these little families on the canal.