Thank you to everyone who was praying and thinking about me, and for all your good wishes and emails (and for Phil and Vicky for looking after our five children, so Gary could come with me). I had the scan this morning and they said it was nothing to worry about, just to keep an eye on it. The sonographer was incredibly kind and helpful, showing me pictures of what they would be looking for if it was the melanoma and then showing me my own pictures. It was good to see for myself that there was nothing whatsoever abnormal about my scans. Whilst Gary and I hadn’t been overly concerned, we were definitely relieved to be told that everything was fine!
Again, there really is not much going on at the moment. No new visitors to report, nothing new as far as our old friends are concerned. The Canada Geese have still not returned and it made us wonder whether they had migrated. Knowing nothing about the migratory patterns of Geese we googled them.
Canada Geese, as the name suggests, are originally from Canada. They were introduced to the UK in the 17th Century and have become a familiar sight since. They are now residents of the UK (apart from northern Scotland) all year round and as such are considered non-migratory birds.
So why have ours disappeared? The children and I looked back at all the posts which they were in to create an overall picture of all we had observed about these beautiful birds. We learnt that they are monogamous birds, staying with the same partner for their entire lives:
We first saw our pair of Canada Geese on March 23rd. The above photo was the first photo we took of them. They were there the next week also:
Never swimming far from each other. They were still around in May when we managed to snap them, still together, out of the water:
They seem to sleep in the same position as the Mallard ducks, with their head twisted round, tucked under their feathers, eyes open:
We noticed that one of the two birds had rings around their legs:
From the following website: Ringing generates information on the survival, productivity and movements of birds, helping us to understand why populations are changing.
I couldn’t get near enough to see the number, but apparently the above website is the place to go to alert them if you do find a bird and are able to read its number. This is how they collect information on each species.
When we visited the pond for a night-time visit, they seemed different. The pond was incredibly calm and they kept circling around and around the pond honking at each other:
I particularly remember this night because we were concerned at the time that maybe they were honking because they were searching for their chicks, but then we realised there was nothing fractious about their honks. Anyway during one of their circles they headed over towards us and put on a magnificent display of beauty:
Before taking off moments later with much noisy honking!
It seems they preen much like the Mallards also:
And whilst they are usually to be found pulling at the grass around the pond, they also duck their heads under the water to pull up some small water weed to be found near the bottom:
They were still about mid – August when the water was getting very low:
I believe the last time we saw the Canada Geese, or at least a goose, was the end of August, although we are unsure whether it was one of our pair or a completely different one:
As you can see, they arrived at our pond in March and left at the end of August, staying, therefore, for the months we would traditionally have thought of as Spring and Summer. Maybe towards the end of summer the water became too low and the food too scarce, forcing a move to a larger pond nearby. As we have more than three different pond areas in our village and ours is the smallest, it seems the most likely explanation. Perhaps we will visit the other ponds before we finish our year-long study. And you never know, we might just spot our old friends, the Canada Geese. Also it will be interesting to see, if we extend our studies, whether they return in March (our first sightings of them) or whether they are gone for good. I do hope not. I, for one, will never forget their display of beauty on that warm spring night, as they danced for us.