13 June 2015.
The nationally threatened Grey Herons, Ardea cinerea,are at it again. But it is good news. They are bringing up another brood of offsprings high up in the Casuarina trees by the side of Jurong Lake. Fish from the lake must be plentiful. I counted 7 active nests yesterday.
Some parents were sitting inside the nest incubating their eggs while other just stand guard next to the nests. I can’t see any young birds in the nests and there were no feeding as well. From time to time one of the parents will do a fly around more out of boredom.
Some of them are still in their breeding plumage. When the chicks hatch, it will be a critical period for the parents fending off predators like the Large-billed and House Crows and even the Changeable Hawk-eagles from getting to the chicks.
They may be common but they are very choosy in setting up a heronry. For no good reasons they will abandon a site and disappeared. This happened the heronry at Sungie Buloh Wetland Reserves in 2002. The largest colony was inside the Seletar Camp with a few hundred birds ( Sinav 19.4). One of the earlier sites were by the side of Kranji Reservior and at SAFRA Club at Tanah Merah (Sinav 17.2). But now most of the colonies are small in comparison spread out over several places like P, Ubin, Pasir Ris Park and this one at Japanese Gardens.
Ref: The Avifauna of Singapore. Lim Kim Seng 2009.