If you ignore the goose poo covering the pavement and dog poo that visitors don’t clear up (and some residents too I might add), walking in the local park is a pleasure.
This is our second Summer here, and already we have noticed a difference from last year.
Talking to one of the locals, apparently it was originally designated to be a picnic area, but with the geese in large numbers and cutbacks not permitting clean up duty every day (or at least once a week) that idea was shelved, though there are picnic tables on one side adjacent to the site of the chippy.
As we chatted, we got the impression he is not really a nature lover and finds the geese intrusive and a pain. By all accounts, numbers have increased again and it doesn’t help when people feed the ducks as the geese muscle in (quickly hides empty seed bag in pocket).
I’ve already commented that the number of gosling broods is only a fraction of what they were last year, and we have just recently seen a second group of four, making 10 young in all to date.
The ducks are still going strong, one pair having 20 babies, and little feet are flying over the surface of the water all over the place to keep up with the adults.
Last year, the goslings came first, and we have now had some light thrown on why they are so late and so few.
It would appear that nests were raided of eggs to keep numbers down, which to be honest, we found heartbreaking, but I suppose better than the alternative of a massive cull.
The island in the centre of the lake was never intended as a nesting site, and to deter geese, a fence was put round it (duh…….. they can fly over the top).
The next plan was to put up an electric sheep fence (three strands), but this didn’t stop them either. Now it is a haven for waterfowl and left alone………… well, sort of.
There are so few places in a town that are free to enjoy the wonders of Nature.
Crows, herring gulls and birds of prey pick off the tiny ducklings on a regular basis. We have seen evidence of either a cat or fox taking young birds and leaving their corpses to rot in the sun. We have seen foxes numerous times in our road on our evening walks so are careful not to leave our bins accessible, and of course we had Ratilda so the bird feeder was dismantled as we don’t want rats in the garden.
On another note, the badger sett down the road seems to still be active, though last year they blocked off the gate entrance to the grounds in the hope of keeping them contained following complaints about damage to gardens.
I love Nature, cruel as She can be but sometimes Human interference appears crueler.
Photos are mine taken last year (2018)