Welcome to the LDV NNR ringing blog, this blog is designed to share the experiences, findings and tales from a group of dedicated ringers. We specialise in conservation orientated research projects, largely focusing on wildfowl, waders, owls and birds of conservation concern, in and around the Vale of York NNR's.

NB - Whilst the purpose of this blog was initially designed to cover our nationally important wildfowl ringing activities, it now also features wildlife and work posts, explaining we how manage the NNR for both wildlife and people.

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Wednesday, 30 November 2011

30/11/11 - A shorty drops in!

Following the large numbers of Snipe on the reserve at the moment we tried drag netting again this morning. We headed down to Wheldrake and tried alongside the pool at Swantail, none were flushed so we moved on. The next field was where most of them were hiding, about 20-25 Common Snipe were flushed and 3 Jacks but again we came away empty handed. Just as we’d put the net away a Short Eared Owl flew up from the side of the van where it’d been sitting in the grass, it quickly dropped back down again not far from us. The net was quickly un-tangled and even though it was a long shot we thought we’d try to sweep the net over it, but before we could get there it took off & left us watching as it glided over us, what a fantastic view!

From Wheldrake we headed off to Duffield to cut the Willow’s, on the way we checked the whoosh net, not a bird in the area but a few on the pool. We waited patiently and soon enough the brood of Mute Swans came up, bringing the Wigeon with them. The Mutes eventually went back down leaving the Wigeon for the taking, 12 were in the area but a few not quite on the grain, the net was fired and 9 were caught! A nice little catch - 5 males and 4 females. 

At the end of the day just as it was starting to get dark we decided to have another go for Snipe, we trekked up & down the fields with net, flushing a few Common as we went but no Jack’s, it felt like it was going to be another blank but then just as we were heading back to the van for one last sweep a Common Snipe got off the ground & flew straight up into the net! Not the one we went for but a great result! We colour ringed it too, making it 5 for the year.

As we were driving back across the fields we came across the Short Eared Owl again from this morning! It landed on the ground infront of the van dazzled by the headlights, but not long enough for us to try and catch it! Plenty more Snipe were getting up after dark which has left us thinking of having a go dragging & dazzling during an evening next week instead.

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