Last week I began the column by writing about the death of David Masch, mentioning there would be a memorial on Sunday, Jan. 26, in Woods Hole. Since then though, the Masch/Swan household has informed me that the memorial for David is not open to the public.



On Feb. 19, Flip and I were in the Florida Everglades with our old birding friend, Paul Bithorn from Tropical Audubon, coleading a birding trip for Audubon of Martin County. We were leaving the Anhinga Trail where we had seen both dark and light morph short-tailed hawks and purple gallinules when I received a call on the cell phone. It was Edo Potter. She was very excited and proceeded to tell me that her sister, Ruth Welch, had alerted her and Bob that there were four greater white-fronted geese in the pond behind her Chappaquiddick house.



A wandering domesticated goose that has been a frequent visitor on Circuit avenue in Oak Bluffs lately has been rescued and placed in a new home — at least for the time being — with Island naturalist Augustus (Gus) Ben David 2nd at his World of Reptiles and Bird Park in Edgartown.


A recent project in Oak Bluffs to cull the population of Canada geese by addling their eggs has been completed. Town shellfish and environmental officials hope the project will reduce droppings on public greens, including Ocean Park, and reduce bacteria levels in coastal ponds, including Sengekontacket and Farm Pond.


An unusual goose resides at Elisha Smith’s farm in Oak Bluffs: a goose who thinks she is a cow.

In the normal world of farm animals, species stick together. The cows hang with the cows, the chickens move together in a wave across the field, and the geese fly into the barn and out together, as a flock.

In this case, one goose will have nothing to do with the other geese. This seven or eight-year-old Toulouse goose has identified herself in a manner quite unlike her kind. She hangs with the cows and shows particular affection for one of them.


Tisbury Great Pond looked like a Japanese painting, flat calm with a fine mist hanging just over the surface. It was so quiet it was eerie. The silence was broken by the honking of a flock of Canada Geese. The birds rose up in a V-formation through the fog and headed directly towards my kitchen window, creating quite a din for such an early hour. At what seemed the last second, the flock sailed over the roof and headed towards Black Point Pond.