Friday, 20 April 2018

Herons & Cormorants - a new season and a new approach

Our visits to the nesting colony of Grey Herons and Cormorants at Attenborough Nature Reserve have been a little delayed this year as we have been working out how to adapt to changes in the Trust's Health and Safety procedures. On 18 April we had our first attempt at working solely from ladders rather than climbing with ropes.

We found 9 active and 5 probably active Grey Heron nests. The active nests contained eggs or really young chicks, too small to ring so we will return in a couple of weeks. The footage below shows the most advanced nest that we found, the oldest/largest chick being approximately 10-12 days old. It also shows the size variation of the chicks due to the asynchronous hatching of the eggs.

Whilst we can't be certain, we think that these are all replacement broods due to first breeding attempts failing, perhaps in that really cold snap several weeks ago.

We also checked the Cormorant colony and ringed and colour-ringed 5 chicks from 2 nests.

Happily the new procedures had an encouraging start but more visits are needed to be completely sure.

Mick P

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