Despite the rain, Sunday didn’t disappoint at Swell Wood.
Chicks can be seen on at least 3 of the heron nests visible from the hide – on one nest the chicks are already very well grown. Being in a heron family must be a real exercise in co-operation as one false move in the nest could mean a 30-metre drop!
Little egret are also beginning to build nests alongside the herons. It is at this time of year that the plumage of the little egret really comes into its own – the delicate white feathers and plumes looking truly exquisite. If you get a close enough view take a look at their feet and lores – the area between the eye and the bill. At the height of the courtship period these areas change to a pinkish-red. Over the next 3 weekends in April we’ll be at Swell Wood with telescopes to help you get the best possible views of the herons and the egrets.
Down from the canopy there is always plenty to see in terms of woodland birds. You can get great views of nuthatch, blue tit, great tit, coal tit, marsh tit and treecreeper amongst others. The pool in front of the hide is a particular favourite and there is even a goldcrest that regularly comes to bathe.
With all this and wildflowers breaking through across the woodland floor it is easy to forget you are only 100 metres from the road.