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.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

07/03/12 - Hello/Goodbye!

During the last few days it’s been noticeable that breeding waders and breeding ducks are now arriving back in the valley, and in good numbers, especially Gadwall (100+) and Shoveler (100+). Species like Wigeon have now switched from taking the grain on offer in the traps/whoosh net areas to feeding on the grass as they usually do in spring, and some are clearly on the move back to their breeding grounds. Given this change round it got us thinking about how many ringed ducks are out there now after this winter - 1060 since September, so that’s likely to generate a few recoveries over the coming summer as they head east.

March so far has seen 49 ducks ringed - including another 11 Shelduck, taking the total ringed to 69 new and 85 handled (new, re-traps, and controls). Most of the birds this month have been female, again supporting the later arrival of them. A catch of 22 Teal in the whoosh net at Bank Island was nice, taking the years total to 275. The rest of the months total is comprised of 13 Mallard, 1 Wigeon and 2 Moorhen.

Last night saw the second Corn Bunting roost of the year, fewer birds were present this time, between 40-50 (including 1 partial albino), at the roost last month we had 70+ birds leading us to believe that some birds have now started to move on to their breeding grounds. Three new birds were caught (bringing that to a total of 24 this winter), plus 2 new Reed Buntings and a new Snipe (the Snipe and Corn Buntings were all colour ringed).

A couple of hours with the net at Bank Island over the last two days have seen 26 new birds caught. It’s clear that many wintering birds have now moved out with fewer re-traps and lots of new birds appearing alongside re-traps originally ringed last autumn - returning local breeders perhaps?

Totals from Bank Island:

Blackbird 2
Blue Tit 6
Chaffinch 2
Goldfinch 5
Great Tit 3
Greenfinch 5
House Sparrow 1
Reed Bunting 1
Tree Sparrow 1
Yellowhammer 1

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