Rushmere Country Park

Our volunteers are watching the herons and we're posting here with all the latest information!

2nd March 2021

Definitely 10 active nests in usual trees. Possible 3 new nests in tall trees at back

Immature perched beside Nest 15

HD camera nest has 4 eggs

Static Camera has 2 eggs

Weather Cold and Misty

Observed between 11am and 2pm

List of Nests

Nest 1. Vacant

Nest 2. (Static) Active – incubating 2 Eggs

Nest 3. Collapsed

Nest 4. Active – incubating

Nest 5. Unsighted thought vacant

Nest 6. Active – incubating

Nest 7. Active – incubating

Nest 8. Pair repairing nest

Nest 9. Pair repairing nest

Nest 10. 1 bird prospecting

Nest 11. 1 bird prospecting

Nest 12. Active – incubating

Nest 13. (HD) Active – incubating 4 eggs

Nest 14. Vacant

Nest 15. Collapsed

Nest 16. Active – incubating

Nest 17. (New) 1 bird present

Nest 18. (New) Active – incubating

Nest 19. (New) 1 bird present

Some incubating birds were seen to stand and turn eggs.

Nest 13 now has 4 eggs – Should hatch around the beginning of April

Trees behind the Hemlock tree appear to be used as “loafing” sites for off-duty birds – No nesting activity observed on these trees.

Other Wildlife spotted:

Mallard, Moorhen, Red Kites, Stock Doves (Displaying), Wood Pigeon, Great Spot Woodpecker (Heard), Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Coot, Little Grebe, Grey Squirrel

Wednesday 3rd March

Weather chilly, dry, some sun by 12.30pm and rain in the late afternoon. 

11.15 - Bird flew in to join mate at nest 4 then flew off and returned at 11.45am with much greeting noise.

11.30 Nest 8 - One bird repairing nest.
Immature Heron still perching on flat top tree, looks like a first year bird, darkish plumage and shoulder patch. Almost no colour in the bill.

11.50 Nest 16 Angry encounter between three birds, two chased off the third, one bird went back to incubating and the second bird remained.

13.00 Change over of birds on static camera nest - Now have 3 eggs.

Other Wildlife observed:

Mallard, Red Kite (2 interacting), Common Buzzard, Stock Dove, Wood Pigeon, Robin, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Magpie, Raven, Crossbill, Rabbit

Thursday 4th March

Weather Chilly, intermittent Rain

11.12 - 3 herons perched on right hand trees, 1 in nest and 2 on branches

11.20 - Squabbling going on in top of right-hand tree nest, both birds flew off and then 1 came back shortly after

11.44 - Nest 4 or 5 - Herons still bringing in twigs.

FANTASTIC NEWS - The Heronwatch Live HD camera started streaming live on the Greensand Trust Website. You can now watch nest 14 where a breeding pair have taken up home with the female already laying 4 eggs. We are hoping to see these eggs hatch around the beginning of April. Look out for the Heron incubating the eggs in this nest, they will be occasionally standing up and turning the eggs as well as tidying up the nest.

Friday 5th March

Weather - Cold NE Wind, High Cloud, mostly dry

Update on Nests

Nest 1. Sitting Bird

Nest 2. Sitting bird - 3 eggs 

Nest 3. Sitting Bird

Nest 4. Sitting Bird

Nest 5. Sitting Bird

Nest 6. Sitting Bird, changeover observed

Nest 8. Nest Building activity (2 birds)

Nest 9. Nest Building activity (2 birds)

Nest 10. Sitting Bird

Nest 12. Sitting Bird

Nest 13. Sitting Bird (HD Camera Stream) 4 eggs

Nest 15. Standing Bird - Did not move 11.00-13.00

Nest 16. Sitting Bird

Nest 17. Nest building activity observed - Not very clear

Nest 18. Standing Bird clearly seen but nest difficult to see.

13.45 Heron flew into untouched area and started to bend green branches - possible start of new nest? keep eye on this.

15:30 Two helicopters flew over the park quite low. The noise startled the herons, four herons flew out of nesting trees and flew away.

Other Wildlife observed today:

Mallard, Moorhen, Teal, Common Buzzard, Wood Pigeon, Carrion Crow, Crossbill, Coot, Little Grebe and a pair of kites over lower meadow area for prolonged periods.

Monday 8th March

Weather - Cloudy but not too cold

11.30 Very quiet

11.45 Nest building on nest 19

12.15 Arrival of second bird at nest 18 and greeting

12.17 Single bird into nest 17

12.30 Nest 18 Apparent squabbling over a twig then mating afterwards

13.00 Nest 13 HD camera - Bird stood up, turned eggs, tweaked twigs and did same at 13.45

13.30 Constants bringing of twigs to nest 18.

14.00 Bird on Nest 2 (static camera) stood up and tweaked nest. Nest has 5 eggs

Other Wildlife spotted

Mallard, Moorhen, Red Kite, Raven, Stock Dove, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Lt. Grebe, Coot.

Tuesday 9th March 11am-3pm

Weather - Warm and sunny with a light breeze

Very little activity, difficult to ascertain which nests are occupied.

Update on nests.

Nest 1. Vacant

Nest 2. (HD camera) Incubation 4 eggs

Nest 3. Collapsed

Nest 4. Incubating

Nest 5. Occupied

Nest 6. Incubating

Nest 7. Incubating

Nest 8. Incubating

Nest 9. Incubating

Nest 10. Vacant

Nest 11. Incubating

Nest 12. Incubating

Nest 13. Incubating

Nest 14. (Static Camera) Incubating 5 eggs

Nest 15. Vacant

Nest 16. Incubating

Nest 17. No activity seen

Nest 18. Incubating

Nest 19. No activity seen

Nest 20. Incubating

Nest 21. 2 birds present

A Buzzard flew past close causing sitting bird in nest 20 to stick its head up and 2 birds in nest 21 to stand up.

We estimate that there are currently 15 active nests.

Wednesday 10th March

Weather - Rainy and increasing high winds

2 birds on edge of nest 15 possibly taking it over.

Another single heron appeared to be investigating a possible nest site immediately below Nest 20.

Confirmed Nesting bird in nest 24.

We estimate there are now 18 nests actively incubating.

Other wildlife spotted

Mallard, Moorhen, Red Kite, Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard, Stock Dove, Green Woodpeckers, blue tits, magpie, jackdaw, carrion crow, Raven, Chaffinch, Bee

Thursday 11th March

Park closed due to high winds

Friday 12th March

Weather - Very Windy, high cloud with sunny periods and the odd shower.

11.15 Nest 1. Sitting bird incubating, nest 2. Empty, nest 3. Sitting bird incubating

11.20 Nest 4,5 and 6 all have sitting birds incubating

11.45 Nest 7 sitting bird incubating, Nests 8,10,11 and 12 all have sitting birds incubating with occassional activity tidying up nest, Nest 9 sitting bird

12.00 Could not ascertain any activity in the area of nests 13 & 14

Nest 15 still has a very patient looking bird (male) who had a second bird apparently nest building until she departed and left him alone.

Nest 16 sitting bird incubating

Nest 17,18 and 19 No activity in this area

12.30 Nest 23 sitting bird incubating

Nest 22 sitting bird incubating

There were no apparent changeover between 11.00 & 13.00 but two adults departed from nests this side of the lake and one departed from the other side of the lake (nest 22 area)

13.15 Nest 15 Copulation and again at 13.20

14.25 Nest 9 Sitting bird, stood stretching and settled down

Monday 15th March 2021

Weather - Mild at 11, cloudy ten minutes later, intermittent rain.

11.20 Bird flew into nest 18

Nests 4,5 & 6 sitting / incubating birds at 11.40

Nest 8 Nest repair with large sticks at 11.50

12.00 Bird flew into nest 18 with large stick which partner on nest worked into the nest

12.10 Red Kite and Buzzard circling each other for several minutes, Buzzard gave way and moved away.

12.20 Nest 18 again. Bird flew off, leaving one incubating.

A quiet session

One bird, a juvenile, standing in lower branches of a tree far to the right, way beyond all the trees with the nests - Looking on and observing. Only about 2 metres off the ground.

Tuesday 16th March 2021

Weather - Grey day, threatening rain

10.42 Nest 20 Bird sitting on nest, standing above preening

10.47 Bird on camera, stretching, house keeping, turning eggs

Nest 15 & 16 Both occupied

11.10 Nest 15 appears to have been shifted to the left - The old nest 15 seems to have collapsed, and there is sometimes aggression from sitting bird in Nest 16 - but pair now in Nest 15 - actively nest refurbishing

Single heron flying around and perching on various trees before resting on dead silver birch tree. Possibly an unmated looking for a match

Activity in Nest 8 (changeover 12.15) activity in nest 9 and 21

Red Kites and Buzzard very active - 1 Red Kite appeared to be carrying a large bone

12.25 Nest 15 Copulation

Nest 2, 16,7 Birds standing up to turn eggs

Nest 5 changeover

12.35 Nest 18 changeover

13.14 Nest 9 Changeover

Other wildlife seen over last few days:

Mallard, Moorhen, Red Kite, Buzzard, Stock Dove, Wood Pigeon, Great Spot Woodpecker, Robin, Coal Tit, Blue tit (in our nesting box) Great Tit, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Little Grebe, Bee, Wren, Blackbird, Jacdaw, Raven

Wednesday 17th March

07.50 Heron turning eggs in nest, snapshot taking from our HD nest camera

Friday 19th March 2021

Weather Overcast - High Cloud

10.20 Very active nest building Nest 6 & 7

10.26 5 eggs on Static Video, Adult adjusting nest

10.32 Stick delivered to nest 4

10.35 Bird sitting on nest 18 attended by another

10.52 2 Birds sitting at Nest 12 - possible 2 nests in that location ??

10.56 Looking from Café Wall to right of Hemlock Tree, 1 nest in crown of tree plus a pair of birds showing interest close by

11.00 Nest 15 now settled down to a sitting bird

Nest 1 Sitting bird but constant visits from 2nd bird with nest materials

Nest 2 Empty

Nests 3,4,5 & 6 all have sitting birds

Nests 7,8,10,12 all have sitting birds

Nests 15 & 16 have sitting birds

Nest 23 has a sitting bird

There was a certain amount of activity, coming and going around areas of nests 20,23 & 24 during the morning

Nest 20 has a sitting bird

Could not identify any activity in the areas around nests 17,18,19,22 & 21

There is an unnumbered nest to the righ of the Hemlock on far side of the lake with a sitting bird and a standing bird in attendance

13.20 3 Birds squabble on or around Nest 22

Was busy in AM but very quiet in PM

Additional Wildlife seen

Mallard, Moorhen, Red Kite, Common Buzzard, Stock Dove, Wood Pigeon, Dunnock, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Coot, Grebe, Muntjac Deer, Grey Squirrel, Bee

Monday 22nd March

11.00 Birds sitting on nests 4,5,6,10,12

11.15 Buzzard circling overhead caused herons on nest 10 to stand up

11.20 2 birds standing up on nest 18 then 1 flew away

12.15 Bird left nest 12, flew off down valley

12.30 Nest 20 Bird standing upright for 5-10 minutes before flying off

Tuesday 23rd March

11am - 15.30

Weather Dry, cloudy but sun breaking through

11.10 Nest 9 sitting bird stood up and poked around nest for a few minutes before sitting down a different direction.

Nest 8 bird standing beside the nest

Nest 11 - Bird preening above sitting bird

Nest 2,4,6,11,15,16,23 incubating

11.25 twigs brought to sitting bird on nest 18

Nest 6 - sitting bird stood up, defecated, preened & sat down again

11.30 - bird picking up food from within nest and swallowing - implies it has just fed a chick 

11.40 2 ravens chase off a Buzzard

12.00  Nest 8, 1 chick seen

12.20 Buzzard perched low in lakeside tree

12.47 Nest 8 - Adult re-swallowing fish from nest bottom after feed

13.30 Nest 14 2 chicks seen

14.10 Nest 9 1 chick seen

14.30 Nest 11 - 2nd adult returned, chick/s fed

15.00 Nest 4 - changeover

15.05 Nest 8 - 2nd adult arrived - 2 well grown chicks seen grabbing adults bill for food.


Nests 1,3,10 - vacant

Nest 2 - 2 chicks

Nest 8 - 2 well grown chicks

Nest 9 - 1 chick

Nest 11 - 1 chick Nests 6,7,12,13,15,16,18,19,20,21,22,23,24 all incubating

Nest 10a - New nest under construction

Nest 14 (static camera) incubating 5 eggs

Wednesday 24th March 2021

Weather - Grey day but not too cold

11.00 Could hear chicks calling out for food but no food brought to the nest

12.00-12.30 Nest 17 or 18 - The bird on this nest have been quite active bringing sticks

13.30 Nest 8 chick well advanced, noisy, gripping adults beak

14.00 Nest 14 static camera, bird stood to reveal that one of the 5 eggs had broken and there was only half of the egg intact, no sign of a chick.

27th March - chick observed hatching on static camera Nest 14

29th March

Weather Dull and windy

11.30 Changeover at Nest 8 - Juveniles tapping the adults bill for food. A third youngster observed, much smaller than other two

11.50 Raven perched on top of a tree with food item in beak

12.30 Two buzzards circling

30th March 2021

11.00 Family in nest 8 looking well

11.27 Changeover in nest 2, chicks looking well (1 egg left) Fish for lunch

11.35 Both stock dove nesting boxes occupied

11.50 Nest 'EXT@ 14 - 2 wobbly chicks 

12.35 Changeover in nest 6

Nests 2,8,9,11,16,6 all appear to have chicks - Nest 8 definitely has 3 chicks

Nest 22 - Off duty adult "standing by"

One buzzard did a low fly through and a Red kite circling quite low

12.52 Nest15 turning eggs

Very little activity in the nests further back from the lake

31st march 2021

Weather - Grey, High cloud

11.47 Buzzard circling main heronry area

11.55 Pair of Kites flying over

12.24 Changeover Nest 4, 2 chicks seen

13.27 Nest 2 (HD) 3 chicks Adult moved remaining egg but didn't push it out of nest

13.34 3 chicks on nest (EXT) + 1 egg with hole or a mark

Not much activity

2nd April 2021

Weather - overcast and cold

10.50 Nest 16, bird sitting watched by juvenile (no pig tail feather). Another adult chased juvenile away, then followed 3/4 minutes of one bird harassing the other, diving and clutching each others talons

13.15 Heron hunting in reeds on opposite side of lake

5th April 2021 - Easter Monday

Weather - sleet and snow

Everything (except the volunteers) lying down and keeping warm. 

Nest 2 (HD camera), adult very fidgety, trying to get comfortable on the 3 growing chicks

6th April 2021

12.15 Nest 8, sub adult landed, immediately chased off but stood nearby. Then flew off and tried to land on nest 12. Seen off by the occupant of nest 12

12.50 Nest 14 (static camera), adult stood up, 3 possibly 4 chicks

13.10 Nest 18, change over, at least one large(ish) chick

13.22 Both Stock Dove nesting boxes occupied

13.30 Heron with 1 or 2 secondary feathers missing from left wing circling Heronry.

14.30 Nest 8, 2 chicks exercising with vigorous flapping

7th April 2021

Weather - Cold but sunny, cold wind

11.20 Nest 8, 3 chicks fed, 1 chick then actively exercising wings

12.20 Nest 9, 3 chicks fed

13.34 Nest 8, chicks fed

Nest 2 (HD camera) - 3 chicks

Nest 4, 6, 12, 15, 20, 23 & 24  - incubating

Nest 5 & 7 - not visible but occupied

Nest 8 - 3 very well grown young

Nest 9 - brooding, 3 chicks minimum

Nest 10a - newly flimsy constructed. 1 adult present

Nest 11 - 3 chicks visible, parent standing on 10A

Nest 13 - not visible

Nest 14 (static camera) - 3 chicks

Nest 16 - 2 chicks visible

Nest 18 & 19, 21 & 22 - no action observed

21 chicks minimum

9th April 2021

Weather - broken cloud, cool breeze

10.20 Nest 2, chicks exercising wings

10.45 Nest 5, 2 chicks

12.15 Nest 16, change over, incoming parent feeding chicks

12.25 Nest 1,3,4,5 & 6, parent birds standing with chicks. Nest 12, 3 chicks flexing wings.

12.30 Nest 15, parent bird preening for 5 minutes but difficult to see if any chicks have hatched yet

13.05 Nest 8, 3 juveniles trying to force adult to give food

14.10 Nest 6, change over followed by feeding

12th April 2021

Weather - broken cloud, cold

10.20 Nest 2 (HD camera), only 2 chicks visible

11.50 Nest 2 (HD camera), adult left nest, 2 chicks huddling together, 3rd chick dead in nest

12.30 Nest 14 (static camera), 2 large(ish) chicks, adult standing, both chicks pecking small chick with no interference from adult. Really vicious attacks

12.45 Nest 4, 2 large(ish) chicks standing doing a little preening next to standing adult

14.20 Nest 21, change over

13th April 2021

Weather - sunny, cool, no wind

11.10 Nest 4, 2 chicks fed

12.15 Nest 14, 3 chicks seen

12.30 Nest 2, change over, younger chick got the feed (1 sizeable fish), older got zero

12.55 Nest 16, chicks fed

13.15 Nest 20, change over and chicks fed. Only 2 visible

13.50 Buzzard soaring low over valley prompted adult herons to call, presumably an alarm call

14.00 Nest 9, change over and chicks fed

14.15 Nest 16, chicks fed

14th April 2021

Weather - Sunny, mostly blue sky, cool

10.45 Nest 12, 3 chicks appear to be on a nest building course!

11.10 Nest 2 (HD camera), 2 remaining chicks growing quickly

11.45 Nest 20, change over

11.50 Heron salvaging sticks from nest 10 to nest 5, upsetting chicks in nest 12

13.18 Nest 8, adult returned, 3 chicks demanding food. Chicks are well developed

16th April 2021

Weather - overcast

11.20 Nest 12, incoming adult with frenzied feeding session 

11.40 Nest 1,3,4 & 5 adults standing in attendance. Nest 6 appears empty. Nest 8 adult in attendance, 2 chicks up beak to beak. Nest 10, 3 very advanced chicks standing flexing wings

11.50 Nest 15, sitting adult, eggs or chicks

12.00 Nest 23, sitting adult. Nest 21, head of 1 chick seen

12.45 Nest 4, Adult left nest unattended

12.50 Incoming adult did a straight fly past

17th April 2021

Weather - clear blue sky, cool breeze

11.00 Nest 2 (HD camera), 1 of the 2 chicks apparently dead, the other extremely disturbed

12.30 Nest 2, chick stood up revealing carcass of other chick. Remaining chick very unsteady on feet

13.15 Nest 9, 2 chicks looking healthy

13.40 Buzzard killed something on opposite bank of lake, could not see what the kill was but it provided some large pieces of red meat

18th April 2021

Weather - blue sky with high cloud, light breeze

10.15 Nest 2, 1 chick

11.55 Nest 16, 3 chicks fed

14.30 Nest 21, no action seen

19th April 2021

Weather - clear blue sky, light breeze

11.30 A first year bird down at lakeside practising fishing

11.35 Nest 14 (static camera), adult returned with food, 2 chicks squabbling viciously for the food

12.15 Nest 11, 2 chicks visible, one seizing the bill of the other - a food try! Adult in nest

12.30 LUNCHTIME in Nest 14 (static camera), adult brought very large fish (gold!) and both chicks tried to get it. One had it in its bill while the other attacked the fish but then it swallowed the whole thing. Much bill clattering

12.35 Nest 12, 3 well grown large chicks all walking around nest and doing occasional wing testing

12.54 Nest 6, adult returned, 3 chicks demanding food

13.30 Nest 24, adult greeted by other adult

14.40 Nest 11, 2 chicks well advanced, standing doing wing flapping exercise

20th April 2021

Weather - Sunny and warm, no breeze

10.50 Nest 9, 2 chicks fed, no sign of 3rd chick. Nest 8, 1 chick flapping, 2nd head visible

10.55 Nest 8, adult brought in food, definitely still 3 chicks

11.10 Nest 5, change over, chicks heard calling

11.30 Nest 9, 2nd adult arrived with food, 3 chicks fed

11.40 Nest 11, 2 chicks wing flapping

12.03 Nest 24, adult departed

Several times a Buzzard flew through low over the valley, none of the herons responded

Nest 2 (HS camera) - only 1 chick remaining. Flies buzzing around remains of chick in bottom of nest

Nest 4 - adult standing beside nest, at least 1 chicks head visible

Nest 5 - adult standing beside nest, 3 chicks visible

Nest 6 - adult standing beside nest, 2 chicks visible                                                                            

Nest 7 - no activity visible                                                                                                                  

Nest 8 - 3 almost fledglings

Nest 9 - adult present, 3 chicks visible

Nest 11 - adult standing on adjacent 10a, 3 chicks visible

Nest 12 - adult change over @ 10am

Nest 13 - not visible

Nest 14 (static camera) - 2 chicks plus adult

Nest 15 - adult incubating/brooding

Nest 16 - adult standing beside nest, 3 chicks visible

Nest 18 - head visible

Nest 19 - no activity

Nest 20 - adult present, 2 chicks visible

Nest 21 - 3 chicks, oldest flapping wings

Nest 22 - 1 chick occasionally visible

Nest 23 - 3 chicks visible

Nest 24 - not visible

Presume the very cold frosty nights are responsible for some of the mortality. Also there are far fewer adults flying in with food during the day.

24th April 2021

Weather - Sunny, cool breeze

11.04 Buzzard leaving top of lakeside tree. Some heron squawking.

11.50 Nest 16, 3 juveniles fed

13.20 Nest 10 and nest 12 juveniles trying to peck at one another

25th April 2021

Weather - Sunny, cool breeze

10.55 Large Common Lizard sighted

12.10 Nest 16, 3 juveniles fed

13.36 Adult flew from nest 1 to nest 12

13.40 Adult returned to nest 16 and fed 3 juveniles

26th April 2021

11.30 Nest 18, chicks fed

11.45 Young bird landed to right of nest 5 with a stick. Appeared to be trying to build a new nest below nest 8

12.10 Nest 11, adults repairing nest

13.40 Adult stole stick from nest 11 to repair nest 10A.

14.50 Nest 14 (static camera), 2 young mutually grooming, not pecking. Unusual, possible taking insects/flies off each others feathers.

27th April 2021

Weather - Overcast and cool

11.30 Nest 10, 2nd bird flew in to join adult. Looks like a very late nesting attempt

11.50 Adult from net 5 flew off whereupon chicks in nest 7 fell quiet

11.52 Nest 4, one adult departed, 2nd adult repairing nest

12.20 Nest 21, min 2 chicks fed

12.30 Nest 2, chick fed

12.38 Nest 6, one chick wing flapping

13.00 Nest 20, 2 chicks fed

14.00 Nest 6, one chick clambered out to exercise wings

Nest 2 (HD camera) - one chick exercising wings

Nest 4 - two chicks? 2nd adult flew in 11.45 but no feeding observed

Nest 5 - adult glimpsed beside nest, number of chicks not visible

Nest 6 - three chicks

Nest 7 - three very noisy chicks. Appear to be occasionally fighting

Nest 8 - three chicks still present. Late developers, should have fledged by now

Nest 9 - adult and three chicks visible

Nest 10 - one adult present. Nest being refurbished

Nest 11 - two large chicks

Nest 12 - no activity observed

Nest 14 (static camera) 2 chicks

Nest 15 - snoozing adult beside nest. No feeding activity observed

Nest 16 - three chicks

Nest 18 - no activity but chicks observed yesterday.

Nest 19 - not visible

Nest 20 - three chicks minimum

Nest 21 - two chicks minimum

Nest 22 - nest not visible

Nest 23 - adult present with 3 chicks

Nest 24 - not visible, no activity observed

15 nests seem to be active, including pair refurbishing nest 10. Two further nest known to be active but no activity observed today. Four further nest known but no activity seen. 26 chicks minimum                                                               

30th April 2021

10.00 Three well advanced juveniles having a noisy pushing session

10.08 Nest 16, three chicks fed

12.30 Nest 12, juvenile climbed to top of tree and flexed wings

Nest 1 appears empty but no sign of fledged juveniles

Newt 10 appears empty

Nest 6, two juveniles appear ready to fledge   


2nd May 2021

Weather - still 

10.00 Nest 24, adult changeover, 1 chick feeding

10.28 Juvenile on sunken log on lake practising fishing

3rd May 2021

Weather - cloudy, windy

Nest 14 (static camera) one live, one corpse

Nest 12 Much wing flapping

11.55 Immature bird sitting in the western hemlock, after a few minuted flew back to the flat top tree (Nest 16?)

12.30 Wind getting stronger. Interesting to see that youngsters on both camera nests tuck their long beak and head under a wing but don't sit down during the gusts. When the wind increased young bird on nest 14 sat down on the dead chick.

No adult activity observed between 11am and 1pm                                                                             

5th May 2021

Weather - Sunny with broken cloud

10.30 Nest 14 (static camera) Remaining chick dead.

11.25 Nest 11 Young bird flew into nest. Two young birds mistook it for an adult and tried to get it to feed them.

11.50 Nest 16 One juvenile wing flapping and jumping from branch to branch

7th May 2021

9.55 Nest 16 Juvenile jumping about on flat top tree

10.25 Buzzard chasing a heron. Heron took refuge on opposite side of lake. Buzzard circled a few times then flew off

10.46 Pair of Jays observed

12.00 One fledgling seen on the fallen silver birch in the lake. The first one I have seen

Nest 1 - One solitary bird practically immobile with back to us

Nest 4 - Two chicks doing some serious wing testing

Nest 8, 10A & 12 - Young birds all hunkered down

Nest 15 - empty

Nest 16 - One chick in nest and two standing back away from the nest

Nest 21 - Adult flew in and there was a noise similar to a feeding frenzy but could not be seen

Nest 22 - No activity observed

Nest 23 - Two well grown chicks observed

From the evidence of the empty nests there must have been more than one fledging (although there has been mortalities) but they have remained n the area. In previous years there has always been plenty of juveniles in the area of the fallen silver birches in the lake. This year seems to be different.

11th May 2021

Weather - overcast

11.00 Adult brought food to Nest 16, mad scramble by two fledgings to get back into nest to be fed. Nest 8, fledgling clambered out, flapping, prompting the two large chicks from Nest 11 to beg for food - presumably they thought it was an adult

11.10 Adult in hemlock trying to break off twigs, took back to Nest 4 where a second adult received twig and placed it, this looks like the start of another breeding attempt - guess the 2 chicks that were there 2 weeks ago have either fledged or perished

11.15 Nest 11 Adult brought in food

11.20 Hailstorm. Fledgling flew from Nest 8 to left hand side of flat topped tree

11.35 Nest 20 Well grown chick stood up. Adult flew into Nest 24 to feed chicks

4 adult herons sitting in scotts pine beyond silver birch. Adult (with bright orange bill) flew in with a twig and appeared to position it carefully near a branch end. It chivvied away a nearby heron. Is this an attempt at late breeding? Buzzard flew up from lakeside. Young rabbit spotted hiding under gorse bush. Adult heron busy providing adult in Nest 4 with continuous supply of twigs

12.35 Nest 6 Adult arrived to feed two large chicks

12.45 Nest 24 Adult fed unseen no of chicks (at last 2)

12.50 Raven noisily seeing off a pair of soaring Buzzards

13.00 Nest 21, wing flapping observed. Nest 12, chick climbed up to top of tree and wing flapped, joined briefly by chick from Nest 11. Two further chicks from their nests climbed out onto nearby branches.

13.22 Nest 16 Two chicks fed and again at 13.30

13.30 Nest 9, a live well grown chick observed left hand side of nest, chick on right hand side appears dead

13.50 Nest 6 Vigorous wing flapping. Nest 2, also vigorous wing flapping. One fledgling on silver bich in lake

13.52 Nest 21 Three chicks fed

Nest 2 - 1 chick

Nest 4 - 1 adult poking around in base of nest and then sat down, no sign of chicks (fledged?). 1 other adult perched above.

Nest 5 - not visible

Nest 6 - 2 well grown chicks

Nest 7 - no activity visible

Nest 8 - 2 fledglings standing up in nest. Oldest one fledged?

Nest 9 - at least 1 well grown chick hunkered down (or dead) no movement observed even when nearby nests received food

Nest 10 - appears vacant, pair were repairing nest 2 weeks ago but appear to have abandoned breeding attempt

Nest 10a - partly constructed, abandoned

Nest 11 - 2 fledglings present

Nest 12 - not visible, 3 chicks seen later

Nest 14 (static camera) - 2 corpses, presumably died of starvation as no feeding observed for some time before they died

Nest 15 - no activity, if all is well should contain young chicks about 3 weeks old

Nest 16 - 2 fledglings present

Nest 18 - no activity visible or observed over 4 hours

Nest 19 - no activity visible, deserted?

Nest 20 - no activity visible, at least 1 well grown chick seen later

Nest 21 - 3 well grown chicks visible

Nest 22 - not visible

Nest 23 - no activity visible

Nest 24 - not visible, at least 2 chicks both fed 11.40 & 12.45

According to other heron watchers chicks have fledged from Nest 16 and possibly Nest 12. At least 1 fledgling flying around. Nest 10, 15 & 14 definitely deserted also 19.

As other have commented very few feeding flights seen compared to previous years

12th May 2021

11.00 Pair of Moorhens gathering sticks, cannot see nesting site

12.10  Nest 21, four juveniles

12.15 Mallard with five chicks

17th May 2021

10.10 Nest 4 & 6 flying exercising. Nest 2, bird standing, looking alert and well fed

10.36 Nest 16, adult fed two juveniles

10.42 One juvenile sitting on fallen tree in lake. 

10.51 Nest 12, bird practising flying up and down lake

A dead heron chick was found near Stockgrove Lake a couple of days ago, about three weeks old (the size of a gloved hand) with one wing torn off. Predated from nest or fallen from nest and carried by fox?

18th May 2021

Weather - sunny and warm with showers (some heavy)

10.00 Two herons standing in lake and one bathing

10.08 Buzzard observed

10.40 Nest 21A, pair observed copulating

11.30 Nest 6, chicks fed but eldest chick got all the  food so younger chick started begging from it's sibling. Nest 20, adult landed but no clamouring chicks

12.30 Two flying TV helicopters flying over and circling. Nest 16, one of the two flew down to lakeside (first flight?). Young Jay with adult observed

13.10 Nest 21, adult flew in to feed chicks

Nest 2 - still one chick

Nest 5, 7, 15, 18, 20 & 23 - no activity observed

Nest 6 - still two chicks

Nest 8 - still one chick

Nest 9 - still one chick

Nest 11 & 12 - a couple of young birds clambering around in the vicinity. One chick in nest later

Nest 16 - still two chicks

Nest 21 - one chick present plus two clambering around below

Nest 21A - copulation observes. This nest is in front, below and to the left of Nest 21

Nest 21B - adult present behind 21A, could just be an off duty adult

Nest 24 - not visible but one chick clambering out to exercise wings

19th May 2021

Nest 20 & 23 or 24 - first flights observed.

24th May 2021

Weather - clouding over following a bright start.

10.50 Buzzard flying over Heronry causing some commotion

11.40 Nest 2 (HD camera) Heavy rain cause chick to climb up from lower branches into nest. When the sun came out it moved up much higher to left hand side of tree and flapped vigorously

One juvenile down at waters edge practising stalking behaviour. Occasionally pulling something out of the reeds. Others arrived on the bank and watched it as if learning the technique. Then one chick climbed down to join it.

12.30 Six juveniles down at the waters edge. one or two seem to be successful in finding food, but another just keeps pulling up a stick

25th May 2021

Weather - overcast, windy, rain threatening and cold

All nests in main clump of trees appear to have fledged ie Nests 2,6,8,9,11 & 12

Two adults perched in hemlock

One adult standing by Nest 21A 

Nine fledglings visible around lakeside plus chick from Nest 2 clambering around pine branches

No activity on Nest 18,4,20 & 5, presumed empty

Nest 24 not visible

Nests 19 & 22 appear to have been abandoned some time ago as not activity has been seen for a long time

11.30 Now 10 fledglings around lakeside and 2 clambering around main group of trees

11.55 Last chick from Nest 12 making short flights across top of main trees. Landed close to chick from Nest 2 (which had climbed into Nest 6) which then loudly objected and acted aggressively to chick from Nest 12, which flew to Nest 9

One chick now visible in Nest 21. These three chicks (from Nest 2, 12 & 21) were much smaller than their other siblings so stay in longer in the nest

12.15 Adult returned to Nest 21 and fed the youngest chick. Older siblings flew back and proceeded to try and bully their younger sibling to disgorge food. Adult stood outside nest and left them to it.

Brief aggression to adult from adult below by Nest 21A

Very little activity occasional short flight by fledglings but most birds just resting

28th May 2012

Weather - high cloud, still with intermittent sun

11.30 Only two fledged birds visible around the lake, usually several active in this area at this time in the season

Nest 21B(?) Adult came in to provide food, number of chicks not visible

Nest 6 One chick visible

Nest 12 One chick visible

11.50 Adult flew in and landed on the opposite side of the lake directly behind Nests 15 & 16 but did not appear to be servicing any particular nest (no feeding frenzy heard)

Nest 15 One chick visible   

Nest 16 One chick visible

Nest 4 One chick visible

12.20 Two more fledged birds seen around lake area, now 4

12.40 Two more fledged birds seen around lake area, now 6

13.45 Heron took stick to left end of lake (out of sight). Nesting?

31st May 2021   

Weather - hot sun by mid morning.

11.30 One juvenile perching  on branch in lake.

Very little activity

One chick standing looking out from Nest 6, another from Nest 16

12.20 Buzzard circling over Visitor Centre

Juvenile definitely finding small food items

One or two flights but very quiet, not surprising given the late season and the heat

1st June 2021 

Weather - clear with a light breeze   

Eight fledglings flying and perching around lake. One chick still in Nest 6 (very fluffy still on head)

Nest 21A Apparently incubating (but very late to start a brood)

Nest 4 One adult present

12.30 Nest 21B Adult present

4th June 2021

Weather - overcast and raining

No fledged birds could be seen on or around the lake from the Visitor Centre but fully developed foliage has obscured previously seen parts of the lake

11.30 Two young birds standing in Nest 6

One young bird standing in Nest 4

All other nests in the left hand group of trees (No 1-14) appeared to be empty.

11.45 A fledged bird returned with beautifully controlled flight to Nest 16 and shortly afterwards a second fledged bird returned to the same area but did not go to the nest

12.00 A fledged bird was seen perched on top of a Pine tree towards the top of Lords Hill. Later flew down to Nest 22/23 area

Fledgling from Nest 15/16 area flew down to lake to perch on Silver Birch

12.40 Nest 8 Fledgling observed in nest

The only adult bird seen so far (12.50) was perched on top of Pine tree in the Nest 21/22. No other adult birds observed between 11am and 1pm.

7th June 2021

Weather - warm and cloudy

One very dark youngster on a log in the lake and some stretching and to-ing and fro-ing to back of flat topped tree. Youngster at lake keeps picking up small prey items and swallowing

8th June 2021

Weather -warm with  broken cloud

11.15 Moor Hen with two juveniles observed

Heron on Nest 18

Nest 21A & 21B Adults still present

12.00 Nest 4 Adult raided empty Nest 6 for a stick which it took back to Nest 4

Ravens indulging in some aerial acrobatics

Hobby catching Dragonflies by lake

14.20 Crow and Buzzard battle over Lords Hill

9th June 2021 

Weather - hot, sunny with no clouds

Hereon crashed into lake trying to land on a log


11th June 2021

11.00 One adult bird standing adjacent to Nest 15. All nests appear empty.

No young fledged  birds could be seen on the lake.

11.30 Fledgling flew in from the West and alighted above Nest 6, then disappeared after 5 minutes. It probably flew a local circuit and returned to the same position. 11.40 Then flew down to the lake and perched on old silver birch branches @ 11.55 and eventually moved into the water in "swimming mode" but returned to perch after about 2 minutes.

12.45 The solitary adult returned at Nest 14 all morning looking very disconsolate. 

The solitary youngster was still on the lake making various attempts to catch a meal.

14th June 2021

14.00 Adult bring sticks to Nest 6 

15th June 2021

Weather - hot and sunny

11.20 Still adults incubating on Nests 4, 21A and 21B

All fledglings have dispersed (will return at night to roost).

Best estimate for maximum occupied nests at height of season is 17

Best estimate for number of herons successfully fledged this season (so far) is 12/16

Five nests definitely failed. Three at an advanced stage.

Nest 15 failed before hatching.