I’ve been keeping an eye out for my friend, the Great Blue Heron, that hangs out at the herring run in Middleboro. Since there are actually 2 of the “herring runs” in Middleboro I like to refer to this one off Rt 44 as Oliver Mill Park. After all, there a sign there that calls it that.
A few days ago I saw a large number of photographers all running around with their gear and tripods trying to get pictures of “Blue”. Since then “Blue” hasn’t been around. I figured he felt harassed by all the attention and was giving us the cold shoulder. Now with rain keeping all but the most intrepid away, he was back.
Once there we were eye-ball to eye-ball, mono a mono so to speak when I got dive bombed by something! My first reaction was to swat it away which I now regret. I wish I’d tried to grab it instead because it was a little bird. A few minutes later one zoomed over “Blue’s” head so close he ducked!
The birds reminded me of the swallows I see at Daniel Webster but they didn’t have the “V” tail like a swallow. They were swooping all over the place. I took my pictures and left “Blue” alone. I stopped on one of the little bridges and took a picture of the miniature waterfall. Then I headed back to the car.
As I watched they swam really close to the top of the fish ladder and sure enough, one of the little goslings got sucked over the edge. Now he could have just continued to float down the ladder and he would have ended up on the sand where the family could reunite but these aren’t people and all they could think to do was get back together.
So the little gosling struggled and the parents honked. Finally one of the parents went over the edge too and swam to the gosling as if to push it up but that didn’t work. It took the adult goose several tried to get back above the ladder and the baby was still stuck.
About then we humans had seen about all we could take. One guy headed for his car to get a golf club to try to push the baby up. I was getting a shovel out of my car when the men in the 3rd car yelled that the baby had finally made it.
Mama & Papa Goose wasted no time in getting everyone away from the top of the fish ladder then. We humans were relieved that the little drama had ended well.
That sums up my unusual day at Oliver Mill Park. It isn’t every visit that I get dive bombed by a tiny bird and get to see a life and death struggle play out right in front of me.