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Goose Builds Nest at Spillway Bridge

March 25th, 2008 · 6 Comments · canada goose, flowers, photography, Radnor Lake

male Canada goose at the spillway at Nashville's Radnor Lake

Wow, the next few weeks are going to be fascinating — assuming things go swimmingly for the pair of Canada geese that built their nest on Monday (March 24) afternoon and into the evening. (Scroll down for YouTube video of the mother goose nesting.) What a location: the nest is about 15 or 20 feet downstream from the spillway dam — and it can be viewed perfectly from the bridge.

Let me back up.

Today I pleasured myself with one of those hikes that handily answered my occasional question, “Why do I keep hiking the same trails day in, day out?”

Apart from the most obvious answer (sheer convenience), the de facto retort was this: nature indeed remains chock full of surprises.

a bluebird at Nashville's Radnor Lake

Just before the South Cove trailhead I noticed a couple of bluebirds flittering and twittering (that one’s for you, Nashville Geeks) around together — probably courting, mating, or investigating potential nesting sites.

I love bluebirds. (Who am I kidding? I love robins — European starlings, even!) As much as I would like to play professional photographer, I don’t have the equipment. I snapped the best shot I could with my impressive 3x optical zoom. The end result is indeed fuzzy, but the color — fantastic.

flowers at Nashville's Radnor Lake

Three or four days ago I noticed that much — most, in some places — of the greenery poking up through the leaves along the South Cove trail is a type of white flower; I mean, they are everywhere. And today, the blooms really stood out.

The South Cove trail deposited me on Otter Creek road as I was nearing the end of an unusually enjoyable solo hike. This afternoon’s sweaty trudge was so uniquely gratifying, I did not want it to end; in order to stretch it out a little bit more, I decided to take the scenic route to the Granny White parking lot. 🙂

a wren playing on the shore of Nashville's Radnor Lake

I took a right turn onto the long straight gravel road and strolled toward the spillway. I paused to watch a Carolina (?) wren play hide and seek with me. (It really was.) I ended up getting a decent shot of the hyper little creeping wren.

As I approached the spillway dam, I saw a Canada goose standing on the lip of the spillway, right in the middle. Just standing there. I had never seen a goose occupy the dam like that before. I crept up as stealthily as my ample frame would allow so I could get a nice shot of him before he could paddle away. (Why do I assume it’s a male? I don’t assume. I know it’s a male! You’ll see why very shortly.)

male Canada goose looking up at me, still standing on the spillway at Nashville's Radnor Lake

Even as I trod upon the spillway bridge the bird did not paddle away; the man goose held his ground, looking up at me quizzically but keeping his eye on the prize: his woman.

I looked over on the other side of the bridge, and there she was: the goose mate, the avian femme fatale. She was on a small island, busy at something, completely oblivious to me and the flash of my digicam. Very soon I realized she was busy building a nest. Fantastic!

(You are probably wondering where the images of this female goose are: Where’s the nest, where’s la goose, give us proof! Well, unfortunately, the images of the female nest-builder — plus three short videos I filmed — are on my external drive at the home office, so I will have to post them here on the Nashville hiking blog this evening. Rest assured, the images and videos are coming! The video shorts of lady goose working on her nest will be worth your checking back later.)

male Canada goose at the spillway at Nashville's Radnor Lake

The male goose was awesome: the very model of male responsibility. He stood right there on the spillway dam the entire time, directly under me, patiently watching his significant other build the nest and, no doubt, looking out for any potential trouble brewing in the form of rambunctious chilluns, cats, or even a fox. The man goose really cracked me up, the way he craned his neck and checked me out, especially when the flash on my camera went off.

If the nesting situation evolves as nature intended, Radnor Lake visitors will soon get live, play-by-play coverage of mother goose keeping her eggs warm and then raising the goslings. It’s going to be great. Hopefully the site will not be disturbed by flood, dashed by tot-hurled stones, or ransacked by curious critters.

I finally put my YouTube account to good use and uploaded my first video. Here’s the link to the video of the mother goose nesting near the Radnor Lake spillway bridge:

Stay tuned!

Related Posts

Nesting Canada Goose – More Video

Radnor Lake Photographs: Tue., April 14, 2010

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6 Comments so far ↓

  • UnclePhil

    Being in middle Tennessee, with Spring on its way, I guess you see a lot of color with the birds and wild flowers. Here in Florida, its mostly just sameol, sameol, with the occasional migrating bird. The robins generally pass through on their way north during the last week of Feb or first week of March. But, this year, they headed north the first week of Feb. I guess some of them changed their minds, because I saw some back here the last week of Feb. They used to always eat the fruit off my grape laurels, but it appears to be late this year, maybe another couple of weeks.

    We have lots of flora and fauna here, just not as colorful as middle Tennessee. I have a rattlesnake and an armadillo living under my storage shed (wonder how they get along).

    Enjoy your hikes; I’ll stick to my bike on The Trail.

  • Patti

    Great pictures! I watched the geese from the spillway bridge the other day, but hadn’t seen the bluebirds. I’ll be looking for them!

  • elizabeth s

    Loved the pictures!!!! I am truly a fan of feathered creatures and love to see this natural beauty in action. I will have to put this hiking trail on my List of Fun Things to Do, as I am looking for new, less dangerous hobbies. Thanks again for the info

  • Jim

    Glad you were able to be there to witness the genesis of a great nature watching opportunity. As you said, they’re going to have ample challenges in that location, but hopefully we’ll all be able to witness a successful hatching.

  • Turkey Nest at Radnor Lake: 13 Eggs

    […] to monitor the progress of this clutch. I hope she has better luck than the Canada goose I saw making a nest under the spillway bridge a few short weeks ago. We shall […]

  • Writer, Blogger, Reptile Magnet

    […] hiker and knockaround biologist I met on the trails several weeks ago, back around the time of the Canada Goose nest discovery and video. We have not talked in a while, so we had lots of Radnor Lake animal sighting information to […]