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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Monday, 4 June 2012

30/05/12 - Round Three!

It’s been a rather busy week work wise and with a few out of work commitments we managed just one session with the nest boxes. With extra help and the good weather that came on Wednesday, it resulted in a late finish at work which allowed us to get another good number of boxes checked. 

The Wren chicks that we came across last week in one of the artificial House Martin nests were ready today, 5 out of 6 chicks (one dead) were ringed. Very nice to see - and a first for all of us and the first Wren pulli ringed on the reserve!

Checking the Wren's nest

Fal & Jean ringing the chicks

One very neat nest!

We then headed over to the Nunnery to check three of the boxes there. We found nothing in the Little Owl box and out of the two Barn Owl boxes were 3 small chicks in one and 3 of a ring-able size in the other. The chicks were big enough to measure the longest primary out of pin - this helps age the chicks to hatching date and something we have been doing for several years.

Craig measuring the 7th primary

Three more chicks!

Next on the map was Thorganby with 2 sites to check - 3 newly hatched Barn Owl chicks were in one box plus a hatching egg and in the other box were 3 Barn Owl chicks of a ring-able size, plus an un-ringed adult female. She was aged due to the presence of 3 generations of primary feathers, and sexed due to her rather dark grey back and a few black spots on the breast (although not the most marked example we've ever seen), she obviously had a rather extensive brood patch as well!!

Female Barn Owl - rather dark grey back

Female Barn Owl - showing a few spots

From there we stopped off at Elvington and checked both of the water towers that have been used by Barn Owls for many years. We re-trapped the adult female in one, she had one newly hatched chick plus an egg. The other tower was most interesting....in very close proximity we found 3 Jackdaw chicks and 3 Barn Owl chicks! Obviously not too bothered about sharing the same space! All 6 chicks were of a ring-able size.

Three Jackdaw chicks

 Jackdaw chick - approximately 3 weeks old

The Motley Crew!

We finished off at Bank Island, in the box that we were expecting to find a brood of Kestrels was nothing......but just below the box in a hole in the tree were 2 small Tawny Owl chicks - presumably why the Kestrel box hasn’t been used this year! Just one of the chicks was ringed, the other was too small - one to come back to.

Tawny Owl chicks in the nest

 The chick on the right was just too small for ringing

We then had a look in the Ash tree that the Jackdaws are in, we found one chick in the nest hole that’d had 3 eggs in last week, and a quick nosey in the bottom hole that had the two original chicks plus the 2 we put in of Jean’s, found all the chicks doing well - great to know that it worked!

Jean's Jackdaw - 2 weeks on and ready to go

The last tree to be checked was the big Ash tree behind the office - to reach the box it was a fairly long walk through waist high nettles plus a rather difficult tree to climb - all for nothing - the Jackdaw’s had already fledged! Nevermind can’t win them all!

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