The 15th saw the arrival of another 3 goslings and R has taken over as chief bird-minder. We got some more for two reasons. The first is fairly simple in that they are our ecological lawnmowers and the grass in the orchard, especially in the Spring, needs as many nibblers as possible.
The second reason is more about animal welfare. When we had four geese, Phillipa and Gertie were a 'couple' as they were the remaining two of the original three, and Nora and Nibble were a pair, each looking out for and protecting the other. After Gertie died, Phillipa went into mourning for quite a few weeks but as she came out of it she began bonding with Nora who looks quite like Gertie. This left poor little Nibble all alone and she was failing. So we got some more goslings in the hope that she would find a new interest. Happily, she has indeed taken to the goslings tremendously well and looks after them like a mother goose. Phillipa and Nora are not so bothered. In fact Nora is sometimes downright nasty to them and pecks them if they get in her way but Nibble rushes over and protects them. It's sweet to watch. Once again these birds hold me captivated.