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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Monday, 9 January 2012

08/01/12 - All for nothing!

Saturday afternoon Mike, Craig, Robin, Jean and Dave headed down to Wheldrake to set the net for tomorrows planned cannon net catch. On arrival there were 7000+ Wigeon and 2500+ Teal on the water plus Shoveler, Gadwall, Pintail and Shelduck.

Setting the net
Robin & Craig checking the firing line 

It was an early start this Sunday morning, 7.30am meet at the office so that we could be on Wheldrake before first light. On arrival there weren’t all that many ducks present but thousands of gulls. Not long after the gulls started to move off and the ducks arrived, however not in the right place! Thousands of Wigeon were present but they were all infront of Swantail Hide, nowhere near the firing area...we watched in frustration as a large group of Teal dropped in but again not where we needed them to be. The hours ticked by and nothing was happening, then a Peregrine arrived on the scene flushing all the Lapwing (2000+) and managing to take one out but it lost its grip and the bird tumbled downwards. The Peregrine didn’t give up and continued to stay around for the next hour, constantly flushing the Lapwing and Teal. The Wigeon didn’t seem all that bothered but were making no movement towards the grain. Then just when we were thinking it was looking more promising as a group of Teal were swimming in the direction of the area, a large group of Greylags dropped in but then straight back out again & unsettled the Teal causing all the birds to take off!

Whilst we waited patiently in the Landrovers along with having stunning views of the Peregrine hunting (which we could have done without though!), there was also a Marsh Harrier and Sparrowhawk around. After almost 5 hours of waiting and with it not looking promising in the slightest the decision was made to call it a day and try again tomorrow or later in the week.......

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