Monday, April 9, 2012

My Wild Goose Chase: Part One

This time every year, I eagerly anticipate the arrival of the new baby birds and geese.
So I was excited when, a few years ago, I came upon a goose
who was nesting right next to one of the bridges through the marsh.
I was surprised she was willing to keep her nest so close to the footpath.
This is where she had her nest back then:

Every day for a few weeks, I went to check on the goose,
hoping that I might witness the hatching of the eggs,
or if not that, then at least the fluffy yellow baby geese quacking and huddling for cover.
Sometimes the gander would lurk nearby or fly in to assess the situation,
but he didn't seem to mind me watching them from the bridge anymore than she did.
Sometimes I ran into other people who were also visiting the goose;
but one onlooker or four,
 it didn't seem to disturb her in the least.
Alas, I went there one day and the geese were gone,
leaving behind one broken egg and one that was intact but unprotected.
I thought maybe it would still hatch, so I went back a few times, but it didn't.
In fact, no night-roaming raccoon seemed to want it either,
as the egg stayed there until the wind and tide carried it away.

For the next year or two, I went back in late March and early April to see
if the goose might have returned. But she never did.
Yesterday was warm and sunny, so I decided this would be a good day  
to look for another nesting goose. I started out around 2 in the afternoon
and stopped by places here along the Elizabeth River that the geese favor.
First, I went to what my husband and I refer to as the duck pond:
There was a lone mallard duck swimming in the middle,
well camouflaged in the water. In this photo,
there's a tiny whitish speck in the center,
under the pine branch; that's the duck.

I went a little further and saw a cardinal that was too fast for my camera.
And then a blue jay who was even faster than the cardinal.
But no geese.
You may wonder if I ever found a nesting goose. Well ...
 Join me tomorrow for the second part of three in this series and find out!

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