Grey Herons in London are returning to their nests; building, repairing and stealing small branches from neighbouring nests while the occupants are away. General activity and courtship behaviour at the moment does seem to be less compared with previous years though the recent severe weather resulted in most birds deserting the frozen lakes. The males are looking superb as usual with striking pink-orange bills and sky blue lores. The second image below captures a ferocious territorial interaction between two males. A female is just visible in the nest behind them and when her mate returned to find a rival male on the nest, there was trouble. Brief copulation soon followed before he departed again for more twigs and branches. The males appear to do most of the gathering while the females do more of the actual arranging, at least on established nests that are being used year after year.