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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Wednesday, 29 August 2012

26/08/12 - One word...MEGA!

Well we thought the wader catches on Monday and Tuesday were good but this definitely tops it!! After those two successful goes Dave and Craig decided to have a go late Wednesday evening for a couple of hours until midnight and then again at first light. In just a few net rounds they had possibly the best single wader catch ever for the valley:

8 Ruff (largest single catch ever - all colour-ringed)
13 Snipe (all c/r)
1 Green Sandpiper
1 Greenshank (second for the week, 4th ever for the LDV)
1 Spotted Redshank (first ever for the LDV - 152nd species to be ringed in the LDV)
1 Dunlin
1 Ringed Plover (only 2nd ever for the LDV)
1 Common Sandpiper
1 Lapwing (c/r)
1 Shoveler (c/r)
 Ruff - one of the eight caught & c/r

Dunlin - first for the year

Snipe - one of the thirteen caught & c/r

Definitely worthwhile time spent considering the numbers of some waders ringed in the UK each year, especially Ruff (only 12 were ringed last year in the whole of the UK), and the 5 year average (2007-2011) is just 11. So to catch 8 in one evening is just fantastic, even more so with the potential sightings we hope to hear about from the colour rings. 

The Spotted Redshank was caught during the night so unfortunately we've no photos to share. It's the first one to be caught in the Lower Derwent Valley despite them being present each year (average of 5 a year). Last year in the whole of the UK just the one Spotted Redshank was caught - hopefully there'll be a few more to come!

After such successful sessions we decided to have one more go in the early hours of Friday morning before resting it over the weekend. With the nets open for just a couple of hours from dawn we managed 4 Snipe, 1 Common Sandpiper, 3 Ringed Plover and 1 Lapwing.

Lapwing - juvenile

Common Sandpiper

Ringed Plover - juvenile

The guys arrived just in time to see the last two Snipe caught, a new species for Sam and Marie to see in the hand and ring, both were different ages too, which was interesting to see the comparison. The adult was much paler, particularly noticeable on the head, compared with the young bird which had a real chestnut orange/brown colour to its feathers. The young bird also had more buff fringes to the median coverts and lacked the black cross that is characteristic of adults.

Sam - ringing a Snipe

Adult & juvenile Snipe

On closing the nets we caught one more bird to add to the totals - an adult Ringed Plover, which was a hit with the guys and good to see the comparison with the young birds from earlier.

Sam - ringing a Ringed Plover

Ringed Plover - adult

Last thing on Friday we took the guys down to check the duck trap and push the corale, it was raining lightly when we set off, however on arrival at the trap the heavens opened and we all got drenched! We didn’t come away empty handed though, a pulli Moorhen and Gadwall for our efforts.



  1. Presumably the Ringed Plover Ad is a male with a collar and beak like that? Fantastic with the other waders!