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.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

07/06/12 - Busy busy

It’s been another busy week in the LDV, and with the two bank holidays it left little time to get everything done! So we spent one of the bank holidays doing a few more nest boxes, it was another successful day, starting with the brood of Kestrels we'd come across two weeks ago - in the box we found 3 small chicks ready to ring.  

Kestrel chick - c 3 weeks old

Cosy in there!

It looks like it's going to be a good year for Kestrels - Dave already has over 10 active nests to the west of our area which in addition to other boxes and sites means a  potential 50 - 60 chicks to ring. Within the LDV we've found just three sites so far, but hopefully there'll be more to come - it's just a matter of getting out there and finding them!

At a farm which has been used for many years, two new boxes had been put up - the owner was most pleased that we found a female Kestrel with 4 newly hatched chicks, plus a pair of Barn Owls (we managed to catch them both in the box) which had 4 eggs and a newly hatched chick. We look forward to going back and ringing them with her - it’s nice to be able to share it with the landowners especially when they’ve gone to the trouble of putting their own boxes up.

Barn Owl - lightly spotted female

Barn Owl - light coloured male

A Jackdaw which was almost ready to fly was caught in a box in the afternoon, plus a new adult Barn Owl and a re-trap, a few other eggs and newly hatched chicks were also found. Disappointingly a few of the sites we’d marked down that have had Barn Owls breeding in the past had been taken over by Feral Pigeons - much to the frustration of the landowners! 

On Thursday we were joined by two short-term contractors for the summer (Sam & Marie - who are going to be helping out with the ragwort this year). After studying for three years doing a Marine Biology and Ecology degree between them they’re now both looking for jobs in conservation. We took them on a quick tour of the valley so that they could get their bearings and we checked a couple of boxes on the way - and much to their delight we found two broods of Barn Owl chicks (both with 4 - the biggest clutches yet).

Craig showing Sam & Marie the Barn Owl chicks


At a few of the other sites we: re-trapped a female from a previous year, found an un-ringed adult female with 6 eggs, another with 4 eggs and a newly hatched chick, plus 3 Jackdaws almost ready for fledging!

 Sam & Lucy ringing an adult female

A family of four

A Jackdaw each

Young Jackdaw - stunning blue eye

Back at the office the brood of 8 Great Tits were ready for ringing so we did those before heading off to check the duck trap, there we managed to catch 4 Mallard ducklings. Together with the ones that Craig & Mike had already done over the last few days that takes us to 25 for the month so far!

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