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.

Monday, 9 April 2012

09/04/12 - Night owls...

Well during the last couple of weeks more birds seem to have been ringed during the night with Dave & Craig becoming more nocturnal of late! The month got off to a good start duck wise - on the first a catch of ducks were taken in the whoosh net at North Duffield Carrs, at approximately 3am (no April fool!). Craig had suspected that the ducks were coming up to the whoosh net during the night to hoover up the remaining grain & was rewarded with a catch of 6 Mallard, 2 Wigeon & a single Teal, nice to keep the duck numbers ticking over! 

After having a go for waders last week and getting a rather small catch Dave fancied trying his luck a few days after, despite the rising water levels and a large part of the valley being underwater (see photo below) it didn’t stop him!

Bank Island - flooded
 

Due to the flooding Dave left his vehicle in the car park & made it down to the hide/netting area on foot - leaving his car in 6 inches of water... He opened the nets at 5am and waited as the birds started to make their way back in, & was definitely rewarded for his efforts with a catch of 7 Common Snipe! All colour-ringed too, also, & rather frustratingly he had a Short-eared Owl fly into the net & then back out again before he could get there! Good to know they’re still around, maybe next time........... Whilst there he also spotted a pair of Avocets making a scrape on the bund (which should stay above the water level hopefully). Avocets usually turn up in the valley on spring passage and have shown signs in recent years that they may colonise so fingers crossed they'll stick around this year. All in all definitely a worthwhile few hours & Dave made it back to his car safely (which by that time was in 10 inches of water!).

After Dave’s successful catch Craig fancied trying his luck at the weekend....arriving in the early hours around 3am to open the nets and then sitting it out and waiting for the birds to come in.....five hours later he was back at the base with just 3 birds, but all good ones! & more importantly species that could be colour-ringed - Lapwing, Snipe & a Redshank. The Redshank already had a metal ring on - one of ours from a couple of years ago - hopefully a returning breeding bird.

Redshank, Lapwing, Common Snipe

With both Dave & Craig’s catches that takes us to 23 colour-ringed waders this year (see below). Compared with 2011 we’re already well ahead with Snipe, last year just 8 Common Snipe were ringed and 0 Jack Snipe.

2012 wader totals:
18 Common Snipe
1 Jack Snipe
1 Ruff
2 Redshank
1 Lapwing

It was particularly pleasing to be able to colour-ring all of the above birds, colour rings on species such as Redshank show really well so keep an eye out for our brightly coloured feathered friends!

Redshank

Lapwing - adult male

Not many adult Lapwing are ringed in the valley each year so this one was a nice treat, they tend to be quite wary birds and are very good at avoiding our specially positioned nets! Last year in 2011, 27 Lapwing were ringed in the valley, with just 3 adults and 24 pulli. In general numbers of Lapwing ringed each year is going down - in 2002, a massive 103 chicks were ringed on the reserve but hopefully this year will be a good year and numbers will start to rise again. On Sunday (8th) the first Lapwing clutch was spotted on Wheldrake Ings, hopefully the first of many!

Lapwing - chick (06/07/11)
 

No comments:

Post a Comment