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 how we manage the NNR for both wildlife and people.

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Wednesday, 19 September 2012

11/09/12 - Marshy heads back into the wild

Last week Jean received a phonecall telling her of an adult female Marsh Harrier which had been seen in a farmers field, seemingly unable to take off fully from the ground. Jean soon had the bird in her care, and whilst checking her over noticed feather damage in lines on both wings, suspected to have been caused by hitting wires. Whilst not causing any major damage, it had clearly left her bruised and unable to hunt well, and as a result of this she was massively under weight for a bird her age, sex and size, and therefore unable to hunt further. Due to this she was on a downward spiral without help. On arrival Jean weighed her at 400 grams - massively under the actual average weight for an adult female Marsh Harrier - over 700 grams.

Marsh Harrier on arrival at Jean's

Jean soon fed her up on chicks and a week later she weighed 680 grams and was raring to go. Large birds of prey like Marsh Harriers usually make it obvious when they are ready to go and it's a case of going with that before they either damage or stress themselves in care. It was decided that she would be released onto North Duffield Carrs where there is currently a Marsh Harrier roost of atleast 12 birds - more details can be found here on Andy's blog, a regular LDV birder. 

Marked wings from the wires

Ready to go...

Off at speed!

Another great job Jean, well done! This is the second Marsh Harrier that Jean has helped make its way back into the wild. The previous being in 2008 which had also hit wires and was unable to fly and feed.

Over the weekend Snipe numbers seemed to be on the increase and so another session was had in the early hours of Monday (10th) - another 4am start! The first round was quite unbelievable really, with 2 Little Grebes caught! Plus 5 Snipe and 2 Teal. A few rounds later and we were upto 15 Snipe for the morning, with many caught in full light. The duck trap also held three new Moorhen.

Photos (top to bottom) - Little Grebe (this years), Juvenile male and adult male Teal, Adult male Teal showing chestnut brown feathers coming through, Common Snipe - 15th for the day.

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