The swan and goose chasing was going on in the pond near route 16. When I first got there, I noticed the goose that had been sitting on the beaver lodge the last few weeks was not there. I hoped that meant goslings had hatched and I’d see them. After a few minutes a pair of Canada geese with goslings swam by. Next I saw a hooded merganser. Then a couple of canada geese went near the beaver lodge and one climbed on top. That’s what started all of the chasing.
Soon another pair of canada geese came by and chased the first pair away from the beaver lodge. One of the geese must have fled into the swan’s territory because the swan went after it and chased it around the pond. While the swan was chasing the goose, I noticed the hooded merganser had a front row seat on a fallen tree and seemed to be watching the action. Next the swan swam over to the beaver lodge and chased off the second pair of geese and harassed them for a while. The first pair of geese, meanwhile, went back to the beaver lodge. When the swan calmed down, the second pair of geese went back to the beaver lodge and tried to chase away the first pair again. I thought the whole thing was going to start all over and I was feeling dismayed at such disharmony so I left the pond at that point and continued on with my walk through the sanctuary.
Last summer the swans didn’t show up at this pond until after the nesting season and they coexisted peacefully with geese, wood ducks, and hooded merganser all of which raised their young in the pond. I assume this change in the behavior of the swans means they are breeding but I haven’t seen any cygnets yet.
The green heron is also a familiar sight from last year. I would often see it near the stepping stones at the pond near route 16. It would often squawk when I crossed them and when I heard it last Friday it was like a greeting from an old friend. I suspect it has a nest near by – although I haven’t located it – because one day last year I suddenly saw green herons at every turn as if a brood had fledged and left the nest.
The stepping stones where I heard the green heron is also where I photographed the garter snake.
The great blue heron is still sitting in the nest on the route 16 pond. Last year I photographed it every week while the parents were incubating the eggs, then as the chicks grew and when the chicks fledged and I photographed them hunting in the pond, I felt like I knew them.
Last year, this pond, with the breeding ducks, the green heron, the great blue heron nest, and the peaceful swans was such an idyllic location. I hope the swans don’t change it too much this year.