They’re back, they’re bigger AND there are still 10 of them!

End of midday rest Well fancy that……..some loud goose talk this morning alerted us to action on the wetland and we watched as the goslings, in single file,  followed a parent across one of the ponds.  We counted aloud, with increasing disbelief, to ten.  Whether its good luck or good management we are unsure but it is more than three weeks since we last saw these goslings and there are many predators about.  The goose family is still travelling with its entourage of aunts, uncles and cousins (difficult not to anthropomorphize) and perhaps this contributes to their, so far, successful parenting.

Staying closeThe first photo shows the family standing around on a clump of trampled sedge on which they have been resting in the sun.  The goslings look strong and healthy but they stay close to the adults who carefully move them around the edges of the ponds.  They do venture into open spaces but only when the scouts have flown around and given an “all clear”.

We were anxious to get some photos and so we tried to sneak up a little closer.   Not a chance of success with the scouts well positioned in the tallest trees sounding an alarm as soon as we came in sight.  So, we got on with other things hoping that they would move across to the pond nearest the hide.  Finally our patience was rewarded and we had our chance to observe the geese without disturbing them.

Although the ‘parent’ geese are constantly searching for food (…up tails all!) to feed the family the goslings were managing to find some nourishment unaided.  We watched them tug at lily flowers under the water with some success as well as feeding on other green bits.

Feeding

As the dusk rapidly descended and the temperature dropped the parents moved the young family out of sight.  The remaining adult geese were making the most of a quiet feed without the stress of helping to care for the kids.

We often hear the soft honking of geese at night, particularly when the night is clear and the moon is bright.  I find the sound quite evocative as it reminds me that there are many creatures out feeding during the night.

We await tomorrow with interest.

8 responses to “They’re back, they’re bigger AND there are still 10 of them!

  1. Hi Barbara, great to see the geese with all of the young ones. Do you know where they go to when not at your place? You have a great environment around you – especially nice to be able to hear the geese on a still night.

    • Hi Mick, we do not know where the goose family goes when they leave here, it is quite a puzzle. There is farmland on the other side of the main road, which forms one of our boundaries, with perhaps one or two remnant lagoons. The only way the geese can access other properties without crossing the road is to go into Barratt Creek (tributary of the Daintree river)so whatever route they take it is fraught with danger!

  2. G’day Barbara,
    Good one. Always nice to see a family survive. All too often here on the golf course, the families of Wood Ducks get smaller and smaller as days go by. Hope your luck continues.
    Regards,
    Gouldiae.

  3. Hi Gouldiae,
    I hope we keep on seeing them so I can keep a record but they don’t seem to want to spend too long in one place. We really didn’t expect them to still have ten goslings as they looked so very vulnerable when we first saw them – way to go yet!

  4. Gorgeous when small, less so when bigger. All gone from Tyto but plenty elsewhere close to Ingham. Cattle Creek (14km S) particularly full of many water birds at present, including 30+ juvenile Night Herons.

    • Well Tony I have to agree that ‘gorgeous’ would not be an accurate description of an adult Magpie Goose but they are certainly interesting! Cattle Creek sounds like a water bird paradise – is that an unusual number of juvenile Night Herons to see in one area?

  5. I just showed my daughter (who has just arrived from Canberra) your post and the previous posting of 12 June.
    They were certainly cuter then, but they are growing impressively.
    Watchful parents, obviously.
    Well done them – and you for restoring the habitat so successfully. Gold stars all around.
    Denis

  6. Thank you Denis for your kind comments and the gold stars!

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