Personal musings, wanderings and sightings from around the lake.
A little history, and about the lake, at the bottom of the page.


Sometimes the picture doesn't have to be perfect; it's the captured moment that counts. - me

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Heron Skirmish

Another cold morning, but without the frost.

A dull, cloudy morning, so no pictures; just the video.

The highlight for me this morning, was watching two Herons argue over who had the right to fish a certain spot.
To begin with, one was just standing on the shore, when suddenly a larger Heron flew in, sending him into the air. For over 20 minutes they circled over one area of the lake; the aggressor constantly flying below, and behind, the other. A few unsuccessful lunges with the large beak, upwards, towards the belly of the other Heron, but still they flapped around in a large circle.
The bigger Heron did stop for a brief rest a couple of times, but he wasn't going to let this young upstart get the better of him. The fishing must be good at this spot.
It wasn't until a Crow joined in the chase, harassing both birds, that they finally stopped. One standing on the edge of the island; the other standing opposite, on the shore.
When I left them, they were both staring at each other, and the Crow long gone.
Fascinating to watch.

All the usual birds this morning; Kingfisher, Great Spotted, and Green Woodpeckers, and the regular Wigeon, Gadwall, Mallard, Coot, and Pochard.

No sign of the Great Northern Diver though; although the boats may have kept him on the move.

Full list of today's sightings

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Greater Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Gadwall [sp] (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
British Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
British Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major anglicus)
Grey Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla cinerea)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes indigenus)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Redwing [sp] (Turdus iliacus)
British Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus rosaceus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  41


  1. That is a great piece of filming Keith. I have never seen a Heron expends so much energy in one go.

  2. Another wonderful wander. The Herons are fascinating. I've never seen them do that. I have never worked out why some some swans are gregarious and others territorial.

  3. The couple of Heron were having a dog fight, incredible. And a Reed Bunting to end with.

  4. Roy, I was surprised how long they kept at it. A lot of energy used to just have the right to fish a small area, considering the size of the lake. Something I've never witnessed before.

    Thanks Adrian. The swans at this time of year, are busy sending young cygnets on their way; even their own.
    It's a tough life being a bird.

    Thanks Bob. I've never seen Herons behaving like that for so long.
    Interesting to watch.

  5. Hi Keith...The Crow must be the police patrol of the bird world!!
    Great video of the flight of the incident and as Bob puts it dog fight lol!
    Was you dizzy from keeping up with the herons?? lol

  6. These Crows are amazing Grace, they always seem to pick on birds much bigger than themselves.
    I did miss a lot of the action; too busy watching it lol

  7. Fascinating bit of bird behaviour Keith. A lot of energy expended when there must be plenty of space for both to feed. I am always amazed at what a crow will take on especially as they are not in competition for the same food source.

  8. John, I felt the same. Considering the size of the lake, I think they'd have had to catch a couple of fish each to replace the energy used.

    Crows are just amazing lol

  9. A wonderful clip to watch
    The Herons were really going for it and you caught their behaviour so well.
    A great post Keith.

  10. Thanks Andrew. It was behaviour I'd never seen going on for so long before. Usually one just flies off after a few moments, but not this time.