Last week, I had a stroll along the waterfront in Portocolom’s natural harbour when I stumbled upon a small flock of geese presumably of the Anser fabalis category. I assumed they were wild geese; the head gander, not shown here, certainly acted quite aggressively. There are three autochtonous goose varieties native to the Illes Balears: the Anser albifrons, the Anser anser, and the Anser fabalis.
Years ago, when we lived in the Mallorcan coutryside we were given a pair of geese of the Anser cygnoides (Chinese goose) variety, not indigenous to Mallorca. They were mute and had strange basal knobs on the upper side of their bill. They were rather well behaved and fitted in well with our other farmyard animals, chicken, dogs and cats. One fine day, six or eight goslings hatched and could soon be seen parading all in a line behind their mum and dad. Strangely enough, they all just vanished within a day or two after we got used to their presence. From our limited understanding, the goslings would have been too young to be able to fly or even to walk for any long distance. We did not find evidence of a possible blood bath caused by a ferret or weasel, either. Perhaps they were simply stolen, we thought. We never got to the bottom of that mystery, but never had any geese since. Every time I see geese in the wild, flashes of memories of the tiny goslings pass through my mind.
The photo was taken in Portocolom, Felanitx, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: September 15th, 2010. The time was 14:49:02.