Sunday, 4 January 2015

Herons & Cormorants at Attenborough, Sunday 21 December 2014

Duncan, Mick and I made a late check of the 2014 Grey Heron and Cormorant nests at Attenborough Nature Reserve. One of the wardens, Alex Gilham, drove us around in the Trust boat. We knew at least 23 heron nests had been used for breeding attempts, and wanted to see whether they'd been successful or not. On account of high water levels we could not check all nests, and of those we checked 18 looked to have been successful as there were no signs of dead chicks. We only found one ring, which suggests that unlike last year the majority of pulli got away from their nests.

The overall impression is that, despite some early clutch failures, the Attenborough Grey Herons had a reasonably successful breeding season in 2014. With Mick being out of action, we did not get into the heronry until early May and only some of these chicks were ringed, with 14 Grey Heron pulli being fitted with BTO metal rings and of those only eight getting colour rings. By May, most of the Cormorant pulli are too big to ring safely and we only managed a brood of three. One of them though (CVA) has been see four times already - three times in Yorkshire at RSPB Old Moor, Rotherham and Orgreave, and on the Ceredigion coast on 12 December.

Jim


Movements of Cormorant CVA (map prepared by M. Pearson)



All photos by Alex Gilham



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