Down by the river, the goose adventure continues. The parents and pair of goslings, who were once three, emerge every morning from wherever they’ve spent the night and walk across the sanitation driveway and along the path to the grass south of W. 12th St. — about a quarter of a mile — where they breakfast, sometimes continuing south to the next patch of grass or the next. They often plunk down on the walk right at the edge of the wall, as though they intend to leap in if something interrupts their nap. Then they do, indeed, nap, with one or the other of the adults standing guard. Today another pair was with them, with no goslings, so this grass seems to have been discovered as a prime goose dining area.
We are reported to have a clutch of American black duck ducklings, and either one or two clutches of mallards, depending on whom you believe. A male Gadwall has been swimming alone lately, possibly meaning his mate is sitting on a nest someplace close. They nest late, Gadwalls.
A robin, meanwhile, has been hanging around my bench, coming close as though I’d fed her once and she was hoping for more. Someone might have, but it wasn’t me. The Brants have finally all gone back and Urban Naturalist says we have terns, which would be early for them.
At the Rancho, because the migration is late this year, we’re getting birds who’ve usually come through already by the time we get out there. I saw an Indigo Bunting last weekend, my first. And the locals are hatching a tad late, too, which enabled this sight: five purple martins on a telephone wire, two adults and three stunned-looking chicks who must have fledged just before we rode up on our bikes. One of the adults flew away — dad, no doubt — but the mother wasn’t leaving until the chicks were ready to leave, and the chicks, believe me, weren’t doing anything but clutching that wire and wondering what just happened.