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.

Friday, 6 July 2012

30/06/12 - New recruit

During the last week of June we fitted in one more day doing the nest boxes, and took the opportunity to take Mike out, who has joined us for the summer on a placement through his University course. He's studying Environmental Management at the University of Sheffield and has just finished the second year of his degree. Mike's got a keen interest in birds and is considering training to ring in the future. So last week we took him round the valley and checked a few of the nest boxes left on the list, and were reasonably successful with our finds.

Some of the Barn Owls in the valley have suffered due to the flooding, but the pair at North Duffield Ings have managed well as their area hasn't been affected by the floods, in the box there we found 6 spare field voles and a young Skylark lined up ready for the chicks.

We also caught probably the best example we've ever seen of a female Barn Owl - she was covered with the black spots on the inside of the wing that we have mentioned in a previous post of one of the things to look for to help separate males and females. From another box we also caught the male from a pair that were roosting, not a single spot on the wing, great examples to show Mike.

Mike - enjoying his first ringing experience

Female - heavily spotted

Male - completely white wing, not a single spot

From North Duffield Ings we headed over the road to North Duffield Carrs and returned to the box at Top Pond where we found two reasonably sized Stock Dove chicks ready to ring. Around the Top Pond we also saw the first Meadow Browns and Ringlets for the year - on that note can we just thank everyone who is contributing to the LDV butterfly work at the moment, it's been a poor year so far for butterflies because of the weather but as the sun has recently started to appear so have the records! Thank you!

Craig shows Mike the Stock Doves

The last box of the day was a nice one to finish with and a new species for Mike to see in the hand - a brood of three Kestrels. They were all a fairly decent size which allowed them to be aged (two females and a male). We sexed these chicks by looking at the colour of the tail feathers, the males are a greyish colour, with the females a chestnut brown.

Fal - getting a dab hand at this now

Male & female chicks

Male tail (left), female tail (right)

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