Every year I diligently follow the courting pairs of Canadian geese.
As early spring arrives, the flock becomes particularly active and loud. The males bow their heads before females, and charge to fight other males. With the contenders successfully dispersed, one happy pair looks for a nesting spot on one of two small islands at the pond - they need to stay out of reach of the foxes here.
The female begins the important job of eating - and eating she does, non stop devouring fresh grass on the lawn under the watchful eyes of the male protector. A good while later, having had her fill, she positions herself on a rather hastily assembled, unattractive mess of dead grass from last year, feathers, and leaves. She stayed there for about 3 weeks, and then one day - pff… the nest is empty. At that time I usually see the broken shells and assume the worst - a hawk attack or such. A couple days of vigilant watching - and I spot the happy couple with their kids.
They venture outside from their hiding places usually very early in the morning. Caring for young ducklings is not an easy task - but this year both couples were very successful. Here are some of the pictures!