|Ordinary common plantain. I just like the look of them.|
|Broody Buff gets (un)comfortable|
on the mesh 'deck'.
|Ash bark-beetle tunnels in some firewood.|
Liz was waiting behind the door to close it while we worked. Anne had advised that we candle the eggs just in case they were good and hold each to our ear to listen for the faintest heart beat or sound of a little beak trying to 'pip' the egg (break out through membrane and shell, which can take 4 days). Well, these (4) eggs were silent and candled as fully opaque. We took them to the compost heap and gave each an exploratory crack with a piece of slate. One contained a full size but very dead embryo, the remaining three exploded in soft yellow, smelly mess, addled and a bit 'ripe' after 40 days under the geese. There were originally 12. We can now account for 6 - one hatched, one exploded overnight, 4 recovered. We assume the other 6 have also broken or gone pop and are buried in the debris under the nest. Well, there were also 8 'new' eggs, so we made up a couple of nests of 4 each and retreated. letting the geese back in (and George go with them as he had been a bit upset by our rude assault on the ladies). As of this morning (Friday) Smudge has now claimed all 8 and is still sitting but Black Feather has cried a definite 'Enough!' and followed George out to the orchard in a determined manner this morning, her job done as far as she was concerned. We are assuming all the new 8 are from Smudge, mated by George while Black Feather was already sitting. If she is doing her standard egg every other day, than that will have taken her at least 16 days so the eggs have now been incubated by the sitter for between 2 and 16 days. They might therefore hatch (probably widely spaced) any time from the 4th, right through to the 23rd June. It is not likely to end well. Once the geese have one baby needing to get off the nest to get food and water, they tend to abandon the remainder of the eggs.
|Sorry about the rubbish photo - I was trying to juggle egg |
and light in one hand, camera in the other. I couldn't use
flash or you'd not see the transparency of the egg.
It's all go! - oh and we had some fun yesterday as we returned from shopping to find the lawn running with escaped baby rabbits. We had to round them up and shore up the gap where the straight bottom of the run meets the not-particularly-flat lawn.