Get ready for ‘chaos’ as Heronwatch comes to Kelsey Park in Beckenham

PUBLISHED: 13:01 30 March 2017 | UPDATED: 17:02 30 March 2017

Grey heron on nest in Kelsey Park. Picture: John Burn (Friends of Kelsey Park)

Grey heron on nest in Kelsey Park. Picture: John Burn (Friends of Kelsey Park)


Birds will be mating, fighting, fishing and feeding in the park

It may be the time of year for Springwatch, but bird lovers are trying to crane the public’s necks to the skies for Heronwatch.

Kelsey Park in Beckenham is home to one of London’s largest breeding colonies of grey herons.

In a scene described as ‘chaos’ by bird lovers, around 25 pairs nest every year in trees on the island in the park’s lake.

Whilst nesting, bird watchers witness mating, fighting, fishing and feeding.

From 11am to 4pm on Sunday, April 9, the Bromley RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) will be joining with the Friends of Kelsey Park for Heronwatch 2017.

Volunteers will be on hand with telescopes and binoculars to get visitors right into the drama, with a mild winter meaning this could be a bumper year for heron numbers.

David Hampson, Leader of the Bromley RSPB Local Group said: “Despite often being seen keeping a silent vigil alongside rivers and lakes, looking for their next catch, when it comes to breeding time herons have a personality change. They nest in large colonies, often in treetops, doing their best to raise their young whilst noisily and violently squabbling with their neighbours.

They can even fall out with other bird species. I’ve heard of reports of a 10-day battle with rooks in Morecombe Bay – needless to say that the herons won and the rooks had to nest elsewhere!

Kelsey Park is a brilliant place to watch this soap opera unfold as you can get really close to such a large heronry”.

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