Often she gives us wonderful displays, and some exquisite wildlife to marvel at, but sometimes life can have a cruel twist - though of course we only know one side of the story.
Upon my recent visit to the Home Reserve at Rochdale I was pleased to hear two of the heron nests had a clear "amplification of voices" coming from within. A quick count up of the discarded eggshells tells me that nest 1 now has four chicks in it, and nest 2 has three chicks. Sadly when going over to the third nest site, there was a deathly silence and I was dismayed to find a dead 3-day old chick on the floor. Both parents were still at the nest site, and there is plenty of time for another clutch this year, but it is looking less likely that these are a matched pair, or possibly both are young and not fully aware of what they should be doing to rear their own chicks. Last year these two birds also made a full nest, but again failed to raise a single chick. Time will tell.
On a happier note, the woodland floor is now a sea of wild garlic; which should shortly be coming into wonderful white bloom. The tits, wagtails, finches, robins, and sparrows are all in abundance, each collecting up their own nesting materials. Only a few backbirds are visible, as most will still be laying or incubating their eggs just now.