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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Saturday, 5 May 2012

30/04/12 - Into the tree tops...

On Monday the weather came good at last and so it allowed us to visit the heronry to see how the chicks were getting on....after all the heavy rain and rather low temperatures during the last couple of weeks we weren’t too sure how the chicks would have survived and whether the adults would have been able to keep them warm enough. On arrival it all seemed very quiet, whereas the last time we were there 13th April -  we could actually hear the young birds from the path, however as we entered the woodland their noisy call greeted us and so we quickly got to work! Neil & Eve from Lewis Tree Surgery kindly offered their services and came to our assistance, sending two climbers, Jamie Ulliott & Colin Kirby who did a brilliant job and climbed 14 trees, lowering the young up and down safely in the short time we’d given ourselves in there (to try and minimise disturbance and allow the adults back on the nests). 

The guys in action

Once the birds were safely lowered down we did the rest and cracked on with ringing them before they were safely put back in the nest by the guys who patiently waited in the tree tops whilst we were busy on the ground!


Due to the delay in us getting back to the heronry because of the bad weather, four nests contained two young each which were too big to risk disturbing, but we were able to ring 10 chicks, and five of those had darvics (colour-rings fitted). Grey Herons are the latest bird to be added to the Lower Derwent Valley colour-ringing scheme, and hopefully one which will bring many sightings, either from around the valley or further afield! The rings are yellow with black numbers ranging from 01-99.

One of the chicks fitted with a darvic

Despite the extremely wet and windy weather and extensive flooding, the birds seemed to have survived it well, with only two small dead young present, and the condition of the remaining chicks looked good. Hopefully if the weather allows then we'll be back at the heronry next week with another visit to ring the young that were too small to be ringed today.

We’re extremely grateful to Jamie & Colin for a great job carried out with good humour - given the smell and stabbing beaks! It’s something a bit different for them anyway! 

 Job done!

For more information on the services offered by Lewis Tree Surgery click here and visit their website or e-mail them at hale@lewistree.freeserve.co.uk. 

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