Western Springs is one of my favourite places in Auckland for myself and my visitors. You will read many posts in my other blog. Only yesterday, I took a friend I haven't seen for almost forty years and she loved it. Her husband was saying that perhaps all the junk food was hurting the geese which had funny feathers sticking out of their wings.
I did not dare to reveal this piece of news that was in last week's Central Leader. Apparently, the Auckland City Council was meant to put up signs seveal weeks ago to stop the public from throwing bread into the lakes to feed, zillions of ducks, geese, swans, pukekoes and eels. The park rangers report that the bread was causing botulism and killing the ducks.
But no official steps were taken, and when the rangers tell people not to throw bread in the water, they tell him to bugger off.
Lucky for me, nature has taken it cause. The rain came, the temperature went down, and botulism was reduced. We are all back feeding the ducks and no more telling the ranger to bugger off.
Seriously, if I go on a Sunday afternoon, when hordes of well meaning families have thrown loads of bread into the lake, the feathered friends are stuffed up to their necks. I do see the ducks not eating, because they have had so much food. The bread stay floating in the water. A very ugly sight.
Perhaps, people can be told not to throw bread in the lakes on Sunday afternoon. The water engineer sees another problem. The weir that water drains to the stream are filled with leaves and flotsum. If the weirs are cleared, perhaps the bread will drain off.
I remember another little pond at the Domain next to the Auckland hospital. I used to go and spend my lunch time feeding the ducks. In May when the official duck shooting is opening, you will see a zillion ducks seeking shelter in the tiny pond. You hardy see the water at all. Years later when I came back from Singapore, I found botulism had killed the ducks, and the pond was a smelly mess. The water engineer said this can be saved. In deed, some smart water engineer had widen the pond, put in a few fountains that pumped air into the water, and the pond is now a beautiful family and tourist attraction place again.
This phot was taken beginning of the month, the ducks and geese were very hungry. It was a Thursday. The geese were so hungry that they dashed towards us fifty meters away to greet us.