I had a completely different post ready to go today, but this one simply could not wait. This is the fourth and final update on the nesting goose. Things have happened very fast here, and I'm not really surprised. The news isn't good, but I'm not sure it's really bad either. Read the story to understand what happened.
I went back today to check on the nesting goose. After the condition she was in yesterday because of all of the rain, I was a little worried about her. As I approached the lake viewing area, I noticed I couldn't see her at all. I didn't like the looks of this!
The water level had gone down from yesterday, and it was now lower than the viewing area again. I didn't run, but I walked much faster towards the nest! I still didn't see here at all. This was looking worse the closer I got.
As I stepped up onto the platform to look for her, I discovered that she was gone. I walked closer to see past the weeds, and I saw her nest. Not only was the mother gone, but so were all of the babies. The eggs were all nothing but broken shells now.
The first thing I thought was that the worst had happened. I thought either something had gotten to her and the eggs, or the storm did this. Then I calmed myself and realized even the male goose was gone. I think maybe the eggs hatched, and they all left for a better place to hide.
I don't know how long it takes for a newly hatched gosling to be up and swimming, so I have no idea what really happened. The only thing I know is that they are gone. I don't know where they went, so I decided to search just a little.
I went over to the other side of the dam to see if they had somehow gotten down there, but what greeted me down there was a heron wading in the stream. It quickly flew away as soon as it saw me. I'll post pictures of it in a few days. My main concern was the new mother goose.
I went back up to the viewing area and looked out at the lake, but there was only a stray duck out there. After a few minutes of looking, I decided to walk up the side of the lake to see if I could find them. I made it over to the fishing platform, and saw something on the far shore.
It was two geese standing over there looking back at me. I don't really know if it was them, but it does look like the two geese I've been watching all this time. I saw no baby goslings with them, but I'm not sure if I could if they were there. Maybe there is a new nest in those plants over there. I don't have many answers, only questions.
Were the eggs really hatched? If so, how long ago did they actually hatch? And my final question is, what became of this family of geese? The eggs do look hatched and not destroyed, because they are empty. Live goslings obviously came out of them, and the area is too clean for anything else.
This was the outcome that I thought would most likely happen all along. I knew I would go to check on her one day and she might be gone. I really hoped I would get a good look at the babies first, but this was more likely to happen. Ah well, I hope they are alright.
I think the mother goose had to leave once the babies were hatched. If the babies wandered through the bars of the fence she would have a hard time rounding them all up. I'm sure the new family is out there somewhere on the lake. Maybe we'll all get to see them swimming by real soon.
This is not going to be a completely sad ending for all of us that were waiting to see them, because tomorrow I have something very happy for you concerning another family of geese. They were also close by the dam and I recently discovered that they had babies too. Come back tomorrow so you can see the whole family!