Heron Watch 2019 has now come to an end at Rushmere Country Park with very little heron activity remaining - we look forward to welcoming them back again in February next year.

This year ten nests were occupied at the peak of activity, but unfortunately one nest was deserted before the eggs hatched and another also failed to deliver. In another of the nests, clearly visible from our Visitor Centre deck, the first brood of three chicks appears not to have survived, as a few weeks ago there were newly hatched young, meaning a second clutch must have been laid mid-April.

As far as we can tell this year 15 chicks reached the fledging stage, with a further three currently around 3-4 weeks old - making our estimate of this year's productivity 18 chicks in total.

We do not know why so many nests only produced two chicks this year, instead of the usual 3-4, particularly as the weather has not been particularly inclement. We know this thanks to our investment in a new HD live feed into the Atrium on which we were able to closely follow what was happening in the nests.

The Greensand Trust would like to say a very big thank you to all our Heron Watch volunteers who have given up their time to help visitors view all the action from our Deck. As well as manning the telescope and engaging with over 5,500 visitors, our Heron Watch volunteers completed wildlife surveys and supported education visits from schools in the area. 

If you came to the park and enjoyed seeing the herons, maybe you had a look through the binoculars and had a chat with our knowledgeable Heron Watch volunteers, please support our Heron Watch appeal which will enable us to look after our optical equipment ready for next year's heron season. 

2018 – At least 16 chicks possibly 18 chicks fledged from 14 nests. A couple of late clutches or replacement clutches. Chicks hatched beginning of May, may have fledged or succumbed to severe heat. 

2017 – At least 24 chicks fledged from 14 nests. Unfortunately we lost a number of chicks during a period of very cold winds. Recorded visitor numbers: 6000+

2016 - 26 chicks fledged from 15 nests, recorded visitor numbers around 6,629.

2015 – approx 20 chicks, recorded visitor numbers around 7,805.

2014 – approx 30 chicks, no visitor number data found.