Last Thursday I had to leave Ilford to spend nearly two weeks by the sea in Wales. This meant leaving my obsession with the Herons in Valentines Park behind me- a wrench!
However, the day before I left I was relieved to see their nest was at last empty, proving that each of the three chicks could now fly. Checking round the island I saw all three of them-in different locations- plus one adult, keeping an eye on them. They were still being aggressive to each other and to their parent, yet sometimes they fished peacefully, side-by-side .
Although they have all now fledged, I'm sure they will continue to visit their nest and hang around the island - but for how long I do not know.
Here are some images of the so-called chicks flying from tree to tree and from their nest to the water beneath them:
It does not seem long since these now mature looking birds were squawking to their parent in the nest:
And now the nest is empty...