Earlier in the year one of my geese LB went broody, and rather than select the warm, dry, full of clean straw shed I've provided, she chose to make her nest outside between a pile of logs and a tree stump near my workshop door. Though March was warm and dry, the last few weeks have been so wet, windy and cold, and I have worried about her out in the open.
On Wednesday it rained nearly all day, and overnight was torrential, but on Thursday morning, there in the protected nest was a perfect little miracle of soft yellow fluff. LB sat on six eggs, the gander Beaky, on investigating the nest and doing his bit to cover it whilst LB was taking a morning wash, broke one of the eggs by standing on it. So, of the five remaining two have hatched - one gosling seems to have perished, perhaps trodden on by mistake (geese have big feet and this is LB's first time at raising a family).
The instinct of animals never ceases to amaze me - during the rain she covered the nest by spreading her wings over it, fanning them out like an umbrella - she nudges the little gosling with her beak to the edge of the nest while she turns the remaining eggs, and shows it grass stems, chatting to it all the time.
I'm very proud of her - and have collected dandelions this morning for her breakfast. If we have any dry today, I'm hoping she'll walk out with her baby. Better think of a name - what do you think we should call him/her?