Each Spring, before the ice thaws in the pond, Goose and Gander return, to make sure that no other goose couple takes her nesting island. In 2015, they were alone, and Gander worked to chase off all other nesting birds – the next year, some of the year-old goslings returned with them. By now, he’s an old hand at this – about a half-dozen yearling geese and their consorts hang out in the big pond, and ducks nest along with Goose on her island.
So we’re watching Goose, Gander, and eight offspring stroll and swim around. The pond isn’t really ours. It belongs to the waterfowl that use it as a place to raise their young. We just get to watch them more than anyone else does.
This year she started her nest 3 days before the ice went out – and the hatching was spread out over two days and a night. It was easy to observe – Gander came ashore to keep the goslings covered as Goose continued her nesting, and last year’s young geese circled the island and flew patrols overhead.