Southern Colour Ringing Group

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Final visit to Netherhall to complete the Little Egret ringing. Two bonus Grey Heron were ringed as well. All birds processed and returned safely. One bird was found on the floor and appeard not to be in full health probably falling out of the tree before ready to fledge. We put it back up near a nest in the hope an adult may come back to feed it.

Little Egret chicks 2019 May 017 copy

Little Egret chicks 2019 May 011 copy

Species Ringed Colour ringed
Grey Heron 2 2
Little Egret 12 6

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We made our second visit to Walthamstow Wetlands today to cover the best period for Egrets. There was a real mix of ages with some large fledged birds and still some nests with eggs. It was also noted that there was a higher than normal mortality with a lot of dead young many quite small. We assume the cold and wet weather two weekends ago probably was a big problem for these small chicks and there were at least 4 full broods with dead young around 3 to 4 days old and three dead young that were quite large and clearly had been blown out of nests or tree tops. Many of the nests that had fledged two to four young also had one dead young (probably the smallest bird in the brood) so in terms of the success for this year despite rigning 29 young Egrets today it is in reality from 30 nests quite a poor total..Huge thanks again to the London Wildlife Trust and in particular Charlie and Nadia who came out and helped ringing Egrets and climbing trees as well as sorting the boat out. Great team effort by all attending.

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Species Ringed Colour ringed
Grey Heron 3 3
Little Egret 29 29

We did the first survey for 2019 at Walthamstow today. 44 active nests is good. Although a proper count was not done there were approximately 37 Little Egret nests mostly with eggs so there will be some considerable ringing of these to do in a few weeks time. Due to the mild weather many birds were well advanced and many young were too big to attempt to ring. This colony was clearly much more advanced than the Netherhall colony. Eight birds were ringed of which 7 were colour ringed.

Species Ringed Colour ringed
Grey Heron 8 7
Little Egret 0 0

Methods

The Southern Colour Ringing Group rings Grey Heron and Little Egret pulli (young in the nest) at two sites in the Lee Valley – Netherhall and Walthamstow Wetlands.

Nests are climbed up to and young removed to ring. We also fit colour rings; Heron (White with black letters and a three digit code) and Egrets (orange on the left leg and black or green on the right leg) which allows the birds to be relocated without needing to be recaptured. There are many more bird-watchers looking for colour-ringed birds, so this greatly improves our chances of understanding the movements of the birds from the Lee Valley.

If you see a bird with one of our colour rings, please use the submission form or send details (ring-code, date, location, species) to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Ringing totals

2016 year totals

Species Ringed Colour ringed
Grey Heron 13 0
Little Egret 14 14

2017 year totals

Species Ringed Colour ringed
Grey Heron 16 0
Little Egret 9 9

2018 year totals

Species Ringed Colour ringed
Grey Heron 26 26
Little Egret 37 27

2019 year totals

Species Ringed Colour ringed
Grey Heron 22 19
Little Egret 41 35

Grand totals

Species Ringed Colour ringed
Grey Heron 193 45
Little Egret 136 120

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