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, 18 April 2012

18/04/12 - High waters & herons...

Well the snow that fell two weeks ago around parts of Yorkshire & the continued heavy downpours of late have lead to the River Derwent, Ouse & Wharfe looking full to bursting....which has resulted in lots of water coming onto Bank Island, Wheldrake & North Duffield. This is largely good news as it has made the Ings a bit damper for the breeding waders and other wetland species and will keep water levels more attractive for other birds, like the Whimbrel which come to roost here until mid May. Unfortunately one of the pairs of Mute Swans have been flooded off their nest at North Duffield Carrs, but the other at the Top Pond has survived the rising waters and on Monday 9 eggs were present - if all the pairs have this many then it’ll be a busy time rounding up the cygnets - canoes at the ready!!

River Derwent (view from Wheldrake bridge) - 13/04/12
 

Dave decided to have one last go for Snipe last week before it’s time to turn our attention to the Whimbrel. He managed 4 Common Snipe, 1 Oystercatcher and 1 re-trap Redshank, originally ringed as a breeding adult at the same site in 2006. It’s very pleasing to catch a returning bird & it allowed Dave to add colour rings (in 2006 we hadn’t started colour-ringing waders). Whilst out Dave came across more completed Lapwing clutches and an Oystercatcher sitting on 2 eggs.

On Friday we zipped over to the heronry for a look round to see how far on the nest/chicks were, we counted around 20 active nests and the first of the chicks seemed to be nearing the right size for ringing (based on the noise they were making) so we’ll have to act quickly. Craig contacted Lewis Tree Surgery in Wheldrake to see if they fancied scaling up & down the trees to help with hoisting the chicks down for ringing, they were more than keen to help out with something abit different to what they normally do!

Adult herons circling
 

 Perching in the trees nearby

 Heron egg shell

The LDV Team have been ringing at the heronry since 2000 and 95 birds have been ringed from this site since then. We haven’t ringed any birds here since 2009 when we did 11 young so we’re hoping to get a good sample this year with some expert tree climbing help.

We only have two recoveries in the valley for herons, ringing at the heronry has produced just the one recovery, a chick ringed there made it to Northumberland (see below), and the other recovery was from a bird that was originally ringed in the Netherlands which made its way to Riccall (near Wheldrake).

LDV Recoveries: Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea):

Grey Heron (7017932) ringed as 1 (pullus) on 05/06/75 in Hemburg, Netherlands, recovered on 08/02/76 in Riccall, North Yorkshire (found dead). Distance 547 Km.

Grey Heron (1294396) ringed as 1 (pullus) on 08/05/02 in Thorganby, LDV, recovered on 05/01/05 in Haltwhistle, Northumberland (found dead). Distance 154 Km.

This year we plan to darvic the young birds which will hopefully lead to many field sightings.

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