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.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

08/08/12 - Swanning around

After the severe flooding in the valley this summer several broods of Mute Swans had failed attempts early on in the season but we were pleased to see that two pairs at North Duffield had managed to raise 8 cygnets between them (one brood of 5 & one of 3).

The pair at North Duffield Carrs were initially ringed back in 2001, this year they produced 5 cygnets which we've been keeping a close eye on. With them now being at a good size for ringing we decided to have a go for them today and so out came the canoes! James quickly volunteered for a go - think he fancied another dip in the water too! As soon as we entered the water the cygnets swam into the reeds but soon after all five were lined up on the bank ready to ring - with the adult male for company!

After such a successful attempt we decided to try for the other two pairs on the ditches. One pair were both un-ringed non breeders, these were both caught and went away with red darvics.

It was all going so well and we were feeling lucky at this point so we moved on to the next pair with 3 cygnets, James canoed down the ditch and each cygnet was lifted out as they swam down infront of him - it all went like a dream (this year)!

A Greylag was also added to the monthly totals today, due to the flooding no young geese were caught in May/June and so this was only the 8th one to be caught and ringed this year - 3 were whoosh netted in March, and the other 4 were caught in the corale in June & July. Numbers of Greylags ringed in the LDV tends to depend on the catches of post breeding flightless adults and young - this can account for upto 60+ birds most years. This year the geese did manage to breed before the main flood hit, but the young were only of a suitable ringing size during the peak water levels, hence no post breeding catch.

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