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Tuesday 21 February 2012: Heron watch on Moscow Island

We went to Ellesmere for my bliphunt besides very good hot chocolate and bara brith?the herons are a dtawing plaster there?.

Heronwatch is a unique project to help visitors learn about the breeding herons on Moscow Island at The Mere.. The birds first nested on the island about forty years ago and each year they return to the heronry and take up their nest sites, high up in the trees.

The Mere Herons usually start re-appearing in early January.

The male looks for a nest site high in the tree tops on Moscow Island, which he defends by straightening his neck, fluffing out his feathers and snapping his beak. He calls through the day and night to attract a mate, and when one comes close stretches his beak skyward and arches his head over his back, clapping his bill.

The female builds a nest several feet across with twigs and branches brought to her by the male. She lays up to five bright blue eggs, and the chicks are born covered in long dark down with bristles on top of their heads. The parents take it in turns to look after the noisy chicks, which beg constantly for food! The heron chicks leave the nest after about seven weeks.

In my blip you see a lone heron male, top right, sulking because his lady hasn't arrived yet....the pair bottom left we saw mating this morning, bit wobbly so high in the trees......

I cropped the photo quite considerably and it was a dark day, but at least I finally had my heron blip....... some more on blipfolio

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