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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Thursday, 23 August 2012

20/08/12 - Hands at the ready...

During the last week or so wader numbers have been on the increase around Bank Island and Wheldrake. This tempted Craig to try his luck, and so early Monday morning (4am) the nets were up and open at Bank Island, a couple of net rounds/hours later saw a Common Snipe, Green Sandpiper and Black-headed Gull caught. The guys arrived just in time and were most pleased to see what Craig’s early start had produced!

Green Sandpiper

James - ringing a Snipe

Black-headed Gull

A check of the duck trap next produced a brood of Mallard ducklings (9 pulli, 2 adults). All were a good size for ringing and went off with colour-rings.

Sam - ringing a Mallard duckling

Mallard brood

Towards the end of the day we noticed broods of Shoveler and Tufted Ducks on the pool of water behind Bank Island and so we decided to have a go, and with hand catching being the method it would depend on how quick the guys could move! 

We quickly split into two teams and took a side of the water each, as we entered the water the ducks dived or got out on to the bank, very quick reactions from the lads resulted in hand catching 3 Shoveler ducklings and a Mallard! However we knew there was the potential to catch a few more so we carefully worked the edges of the pool and came away with another two Shoveler ducklings which had hunkered down in the weed. 

Shoveler ducklings

Three Coots were also found hiding amongst the weed by the waters edge - 1 pulli and 2 adults. Coots tend to sit just underneath the waters surface with their beak tip peeping out of the water, one of them had even covered itself in weed but we still managed to spot it!
Colour-ringed Coot

Then just when we thought it couldn’t get much better Adam stumbled upon a Little Grebe tucked amongst the weed! 

Shaping the ring for the Little Grebe

The catch was then rounded off with a single Tufted Duck duckling caught - another great effort from the guys, this kind of ringing/catching only really works with a big team, especially if they can run fast - even in waders, which if you’ve done it you’ll know what an effort it is!
Tufted Duck duckling

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