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.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

June summary

Well, it's been another strange month...just as the birds had started to recover from the April/May flood it came again in June, resulting in most of Bank Island going under and the river spilling over again at North Duffield Carrs, which was still sitting under 3ft of water in some places. The waders have suffered drastically, no Lapwing chicks have been seen yet in the valley and only 4 Curlew chicks. Wheldrake Ings has also suffered, the meadows flooded and the track and carpark have been inaccessible at times. Not only have the wading birds suffered because of the floods, so have some of our smaller birds - Grasshopper Warblers, Reed Warblers and Sedge Warblers have been few and far between.

Sedge Warbler - suffering due to the flooding

The ringing that we have been able to do has largely been based around the nest box project. Good numbers of chicks have been ringed (Barn Owls and Kestrels inparticular), however a few broods have been lost due to the flooding, which is unfortunate but still useful data for the nest record scheme. Several areas that are usually not prone to flooding have done so this year, leaving the Barn Owls struggling to hunt because of all the excess water which is covering their hunting grounds. Since starting the nest boxes in May, we've now ringed 86 Barn Owls for the year, the majority of these being chicks. 

Barn Owl chick - 1 of the 46 ringed this month

Kestrels have had a very successful breeding season, with most pairs fledging atleast two to four young. 37 Kestrels have been ringed (all chicks) since the start of the breeding season, and we've done most of them at the right time for sexing which has provided an extra insight into their productivity.

Kestrels - 2 of the 32 chicks ringed in June

Also from the nest boxes/natural nesting sites we've had quite a few Jackdaws (6 ringed this month, 14 for the year), Tawny Owls (4 ringed this month, 15 for the year), and Stock Doves (2 ringed this month, 4 for the year). Early on in June Craig also managed another flick netting session one evening after work, and came away with 16 Swifts, making that 43 for the year now.

Jackdaw - 1 of the 6 ringed in June

Following a request we also did some additional wader chicks during a trip to some higher/drier ground, adjacent to one of our other NNR's. A total of 6 Lapwing chicks, 6 Golden Plover chicks and a single Curlew chick were ringed. It was great to catch and ring a few Golden Plover as not many are done nationally, so that's 6 good additions to the UK total.

Lapwing - brood of three

Young Golden Plover 

Curlew chick

Below are the ringing totals for the month and for the year so far:

                                           June             Year
WATERFOWL






Grey Heron 0
10
Mute Swan 0
2
Greylag Goose 3
6
Brent Goose 0
1
Shelduck 0
78
Wigeon 0
114
Teal 0
281
Mallard 25
270
Pintail 0
5
Gadwall 0
4
Moorhen 0
11
Coot 0
4
Little Grebe 0
1




WADERS






Whimbrel 0
2
Snipe 0
24
Jack Snipe 0
1
Ruff 0
1
Redshank 0
2
Lapwing 0
3
Oystercatcher 0
2




RAPTORS/OWLS






Red Kite 0
1
Tawny Owl 4
15
Little Owl 1
2
Barn Owl 46
86
Kestrel 32
37




PASSERINES






Jackdaw  6
14




NON-PASSERINES






Swift 16
43
Cuckoo 0
2
Stock Dove 2
4





135
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