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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Sunday, 1 January 2012

31/12/11 - Last few for 2011!

During the last two weeks of December Mike & Craig managed to keep the duck ringing going right through the festive period, adding another 16 birds to the monthly totals, bringing it to 116 for December. The heavy rain during the last two weeks meant that the water levels rose which saw a lot of the birds move from the river and Top Pond at North Duffield and on to Wheldrake which has started to flood.

Here’s a brief summary of the catches from the last two weeks.

Wednesday 21st - Craig & Mike headed down to Duffield before dawn, and watched as the Wigeon moved around the catching area without ever actually going in it! After a long and frustrating wait they finally fired on two Moorhens. Most of the ice has melted from the Top Pond now, leaving the duck trap much easier to access! 2 Mallards and a Wigeon were in today.

Thursday 22nd - Mike went down to Wheldrake before dawn, there were lots of birds on the pool, plenty of ducks and 60 Whoopers. The Wigeon were being very wary and not coming up to the grain, after waiting over an hour and no birds coming into the area Mike packed up and headed to North Duffield. There were very few birds on the river and just the one Wigeon in the duck trap.

Friday 23rd - Mike headed down to Wheldrake this morning in the dark, again lots of birds were on the pool but not coming up to the grain. After another long wait he eventually managed a catch of 3 Wigeon, all young males. The river was starting to come up so the whoosh net may need moving sooner rather than later! 2 new Wigeon in the duck trap at Duffield.

Tuesday 27th - Today Jean brought in a Mute Swan for Mike to ring and release on the reserve, whilst down at Wheldrake they found a single Mallard in the duck trap. Since last Friday Mike has not managed a catch, possibly due to the water levels changing. A lot more water coming is now coming on to Wheldrake which has brought thousands of ducks (7000+ Wigeon) on to the area between the scrape and the Cormorant trees. There are equally many birds on Bank Island however there are no birds on the river at North Duffield or on the Top Pond. The pool at Wheldrake is also relatively quiet at the moment.  

Friday 30th - Another quiet few days catch wise, however today Mike had 2 new Moorhens in the duck trap on Wheldrake.

Saturday 31st - This morning no birds could be caught in the whoosh net but there were two new Mallard in the duck trap on Wheldrake and so the year didn’t end on a blank! After leaving Wheldrake Mike & Craig headed to North Duffield and spent a couple of hours un-setting the whoosh net there and then re-setting it at Bank Island with the hope of catching there from now on as the Top Pond and North Duffield are both virtually bird-less at the moment!

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