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17 December 2011

A sad event two days ago. Sister One the goose has been brooding four eggs, and they hatched. I spotted her strutting across the lawn for dinner with a single gosling in tow and was disappointed. I presumed that the terrible thunderstorms we’d had a week or so earlier might be to blame, (the massive changes in air pressure caused by heavy thunder can kill embryos developing in eggs) fed her, her twin (Sister two) and Stroppy the gander, and watched as everyone dabbled in the water-trough, ate the wheat given them, and wandered about.
Then, yesterday, I decided to check the abandoned nest and was annoyed to discover that the eggs – all four – had hatched. But putting things together I think what happened was – the first gosling hatched, a strong healthy baby, and the next day his mum took him off to the far side of my large lawn to find food. While she was gone the other eggs started hatching, but the day was cool and very wet, and with no mum to shelter them, the other three hatched alone and died before she returned.
At least it does mean that the eight eggs Senior Goose is sitting on at the moment – and which are due to hatch in a week or so – may be fertile and I could get more goslings very shortly. I’d be pleased if more appear – and so would Stroppy the gander who loves to have goslings. Right now he’s marching about, a foot behind his chest, and an ‘alone I did it’ look on his face.

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