When we arrived last spring, there were two resident geese in the marina- the children named them Peter and Paul.
The office manager told us they’d been living around the marina for at least two decades- the shipyard crew feed them, and they forage around the bay. We learned not to feed them from the boat, because they’d come tapping on your hull for more… very persistently, and not always easy on the boat!
The ganders were inseparable- you really never saw one without the other.
Dawn departure from the marina
Until recently, that is.
In late September, Paul died. He’d been looking unwell for a couple of weeks- not keeping himself clean, not eating. One morning, he was found floating legs-up with his partner circling around. Peter honked pitifully. At all times of day (and many hours at night), he could be found be swimming around the bay, calling out for his companion. I would not have credited geese with so much feeling, but it was plain that he was looking for him and suffering.
After a week, he stopped honking, but he still seemed to be mourning. He developed the habit of swimming very close to a well-polished powerboat and staring at his reflection. His reflection, which looked (as far as I can tell) nearly identical to his lost partner, Paul. Instead of cruising the bay, he spends hours obsessively staring at his reflection.
He needs help.
The marina decided the solution was to bring Peter a few new friends. The children were trundled along on a mission to a farm outside Sydney, and came home with four geese. Niall has written about it in his blog
. They’re being slowly introduced, to try and ease the transition for all involved and set it up for success. We’ve got our fingers crossed for him.