If I had written a post yesterday, it would have extolled the virtues of a warm and sunny Sunday, a day that was just picture perfect. The Park was busy with most of the regular walkers, all there to enjoy the beautiful Spring day.
I took a slew of photos and was anxious to see and share them with you, but we had a horrific storm pop up in the two o’clock hour. That storm raged for several hours, running the gamut of thunder and lightning, hail up to an inch in diameter and torrential downpours. The house was pelted with hail from every angle, and rain came with such force, the water was level with the top of the curb. I watched from the front door, as one brave neighbor donned his poncho and took a rake in the teeming rain to clear out the sewer grate, which was causing our street and the cross-street to flood. All the tree buds and bits that had been flitting around and landed in the street had whooshed down to the drain and clogged it.
After the storm subsided, the afternoon was suddenly over, and I never recouped that lost “online time” so I deferred the post to today.
As I walked around Council Point Park yesterday, it seemed that Mother Nature was at her finest. I saw lush grass, a flawless blue sky, and the leaves had finally unfurled, providing a canopy of green as I traveled along the perimeter path. Songbirds trilled and thrilled me with their song, and Parker was dancing over my shoe tops, pleading for peanuts with pensive eyes and other whimsical antics.
It is appropriate in this week leading up to Mother’s Day, that I should spotlight Spring’s offspring, and I hope you enjoy them.
My first find was getting a glimpse at the goslings. My friend Ann Marie reported seeing some goslings and their parents at the man-made pond at her apartment building on Saturday. She texted me pictures of those cute and fuzzy chicks, so I was hopeful to see some of my own.
As I rounded the bend of the first walking loop, there they were, nestled together by the old twisted tree, sweet golden fuzz balls, with their proud parents nearby.
I admired the first “batch” of the 2018 goslings, and was careful to stay far from them, while clicking away at these chicks. The goslings barely stirred the entire time I was there, including the parents who guarded their babies like sentries, not even moving a muscle.
Reluctantly I moved along, fed a few more squirrels, a pair of cardinals and the red-winged blackbird. I stopped every walker I saw to tell them the first goslings had arrived at the Park.
I walked the entire perimeter path, which is two miles, and found myself back where I saw Mom and Pop Goose and their young ‘uns the first go-around. Only this time, they had moved out of their cozy alcove and were grazing. I was surprised to find the goslings were not as small as I originally thought – hmm, so where have they been hiding?
Of course, more warm-and-fuzzy photos had to be taken to share here.
Begrudgingly, I tore myself away from the goose family to tackle another entire loop around Council Point Park.
I heard the steady drumming of a woodpecker very high up in a dead tree. While shielding my eyes from the sun, I scoured the weathered branches to find him. It was a large woodpecker, but it seems I startled him, as I saw a blur of wings and poof – he was gone.
But, glancing toward the sky for the elusive woodpecker had yielded another find … a robin’s nest on a low branch. I know I’d have seen it before, so it was obviously a new addition along my regular route. The mother robin was sitting on top of the rather messy-looking nest, with only her head and tail visible from my vantage point.
Mama Robin’s eyes followed me as I took a few pictures, and she never moved a muscle. She guarded that cache of eggs with her life.
I sure didn’t want to scare her, so I left quietly and returned to the primary purpose of my excursion … oh yeah, walking, with some bliss thrown in to set the Spring mood.
I mused that once the baby robins hatch, even more newborns will be roaming around Council Point Park in a few short weeks.
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Meanwhile, to update you on an earlier post, in Richmond, Virginia the new robins have arrived. You’ll recall I wrote about the robin’s nest my friend Evelyn discovered on her back porch a few weeks ago. I showed you some pictures of three eggs, then four eggs, plus a photo of Mama Robin keeping those eggs warm and toasty. https://lindaschaubblog.net/2018/04/27/spring-blessings/
Mama Robin rarely moved off the nest.
When Evelyn put her dogs out each morning, she had her phone handy to monitor the “goin’s on” at the nest since Mama Robin usually flew off the nest once they walked out the back door.
Because the eggs were different sizes, on May 2nd Evelyn noticed Mama Robin had been rotating the eggs, likely moving them around to give them equal warmth from her body. This reconfiguration of eggs happened just prior to “hatch day” as you’ll see below.
The next day, May 3rd, one of the eggs had a small crack in its beautiful blue shell – the hatching had begun!
On May 4th, Evelyn discovered three naked newborn robins, each with a tiny tuft of feathers, had made their entrance into the world. What a miracle! You’ll recall one egg was laid a day or two after the others, so it had some catching up to do. As you see in the next photo, that fourth and final egg remained in the nest, snugged up near the hatchlings. Evelyn assumed the remaining egg would hatch a day or so later.
But, the very next day, Saturday the 5th, sadly, there was no sign of the fourth egg in the nest. It was as if Mama Robin determined that hatchling was not going to make it and discarded the egg. So, it was just a trio of hatchlings remaining in the nest.
The hatchings have grown in leaps and bounds – here is how they looked this morning. At least they resemble a bird. They are “all beak” and isn’t it amazing to see the blue veins in their tiny bodies?
I researched to find more info on robin hatchlings and learned they will open their eyes at 5 days old. They will be ready to leave the nest when they are 13 days old when they will be almost the size of their parents. Amazing, when you look at those scrawny little bodies now. Once fledged from the nest, they will be capable fliers in just 10-15 days.
Look out world (and worms)!!