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.

For daily sightings please visit our Twitter account: https://twitter.com/ldv_nnr (@LDV_NNR)

For details of events, volunteer tasks and wildlife images please visit our Facebook account: https://www.facebook.com/Lower-Derwent-Valley-Skipwith-Common-NNR

Thursday, 17 May 2012

17/05/12 - Have we got NEWS for you!

We've had quite a busy time of late (and there's not even been much ringing involved!). The LDV base has been under the spotlight during the last week as we've had the pleasure of filming two pieces for the BBC about the LDV Whimbrel project and the work of Natural England in the Lower Derwent Valley NNR.

The first one was in relation to the Wildlife Trusts and their centenary - and the recent focus on 'living landscapes' and 'making space for nature' - the Lawton report and the Rural White Paper. Sir John Lawton - chair of the working group, author of the above report and perhaps most importantly a local birder, joined us at the Whimbrel fields to track the Whimbrel and discuss the importance of our work. The footage taken by the BBC was aired on the BBC breakfast news and Radio 4 yesterday (Wednesday 16th May) - click here to watch it on the BBC website.

The BBC interviewing Craig

Just as we'd finished with that piece Craig took a call from the Natural England press office to say that Countryfile were also interested in covering the story - they'd planned on filming in Yorkshire - covering the River Derwent and upper Humber and whilst researching the Derwent they'd come across our ringing blog! Unfortunately this came right at the end of the Whimbrel staging period and because of this there was some nervousness around whether we would be able to find any birds, let alone catch them, but after a quick chat with the producers it was decided that we'd come up with a good storyline whatever the outcome! 

So on Friday afternoon we met up with the Countryfile team at the NNR office at Bank Island, and then went on to spend three enjoyable hours wading through the floods(!), putting up a few nets, ringing a few ducks and radio-tracking the few remaining Whimbrel. The water had come up a great deal since the day before when Dean, the producer, had visited the site - just one day later and the area that had been earmarked for filming was underwater - and so it was a wader job for everyone - there were a few pairs of wet feet(!) but everyone was in good spirits which made it an enjoyable afternoon, and it was especially great for us to be able to share what we've done and been able to achieve.

The Countryfile team wade through the flood

Preparing to film the introduction on Bank Island

Craig showing Ellie how to ring a Mallard

Searching for the radio-tagged Whimbrel at Storwood

Final interview - job done! 

So for another chance of seeing the great work that is being and has been done by Natural England in partnership with other organisations, the ringing scheme, local bird watchers and volunteers in the Lower Derwent Valley NNR, tune into Countryfile on Sunday 27th May!

Whilst waiting for the Countryfile team to arrive at the office we checked a few of the nest boxes around the base, a good number of  Tree Sparrows were sitting on eggs plus a single Blue Tit. We also checked the holes in the Ash tree that the Jackdaws have been nesting in for the last 10 years - in previous years Barn Owls, Tawny Owls & Little Owls have also nested in the holes! This year it seems to be home to just the Jackdaws, we found two active nests, one with two chicks in and the other had three eggs. The chicks were big enough to ring which was pleasing!

Searching for nests

Jackdaw eggs

Lucy - ringing a chick

Jackdaw chick - 7 days old

We plan to have another go next week to see if we can access the higher holes, and maybe even catch the adults - if we're quick enough!

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