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, regular readers may have noticed the increase in posts detailing wildlife found across the valley (ranging from plants, fungi, butterflies, dragonflies & other invertebrates). Ringing posts will hopefully resume over the winter months, and will run alongside wildlife and work posts.

Friday, 6 January 2012

06/01/12 - Happy New Year, Happy New Grebe!

Well 2012 has got off to a good start in the valley with 16 birds caught in the first few days, including a Little Grebe!

Sunday 1st - Mike & Craig took the first whoosh net catch at Bank Island this morning and caught 8 Teal! Afterwards they identified and grained up a potential area on Wheldrake for a cannon net catch next week.

Tuesday 3rd - This morning Mike had 2 Mallard in the Wheldrake duck trap and Dave caught another 3 Mallard on Skipwith Common. After finishing clearing up the trees which had come down in the wind on Skipwith we headed to Wheldrake to re-grain the cannon net area and put in dummy cannons and a net to get the birds used to them before the weekend. It was quite hard work carrying over the buckets of grain, wooden stakes, dummy cannons etc in the gale force winds the LDV and the rest of Yorkshire experienced today!

Wednesday 4th - Mike & Craig had just the one Mallard in the Wheldrake duck trap this morning. The water levels are rising rapidly with all the heavy rain from the last few days, which has resulted in a lot of water coming on to Bank Island and with it a Little Grebe appeared there this morning. Mike & Craig attempted catching it using the same technique that we’d used on the Pocklington Canal, the Little Grebe did go in the net but managed to get out...will try again another day, can’t win them all!

Thursday 5th - Mike & Craig headed to Wheldrake early this morning, nothing was in the whoosh net area or in the duck trap. After spotting the Little Grebe at Bank Island again we set the net and crossed our fingers! Not long after another one appeared, we waited patiently as they both swam and fed around the net. They even swam over it and dived several times but to our amazement didn’t get caught up in the net! After a bit of a wait eventually one of them did but the other promptly swam off! Once in the hand the bird was identified as a young bird, it was ringed and also fitted with a yellow colour ring. Out of the two we did on 01/12/11 the bird sporting the pink colour ring has since been seen again on the Pocklington Canal.  

Mike showing Ian how to shape the ring

                                   Craig & Ian ageing the Little Grebe

During the afternoon we headed down to Wheldrake to check the area for Sunday, the water level is still high but we’re hopeful it’s going to be able to go ahead. It was much harder work today wading through mud/deep water to get to the area whilst carrying the buckets of grain in the strong winds again! We adjusted the net slightly and took out the wooden stakes which seemed to be putting some of the birds off. Hopefully Sunday will come off and it’ll have been worth it! 

Friday 6th - Plenty of birds were around today but none in the catching area of the whoosh nets and just the one Mallard in the duck trap on Wheldrake.

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