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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Tuesday, 4 September 2012

29/08/12 - A white Snipe & ducks aplenty!

Well, everyone was on abit of a high after last weeks’ successful attempts at catching ducks and waders in the LDV, with 47 waders, 20 ducks and 27 swans caught in just 5 days. This encouraged Dave to carry it on into the weekend, he had a go in the early hours of Saturday morning, opening the nets at 4am before waiting for the birds to start moving. His efforts and time produced just two birds, one Dunlin and a Snipe. An interesting one though! It had 7 white greater coverts on each wing, plus a single white feather either side of the stripe on its head. Given the tens of thousands of Snipe seen in the valley over the last twenty years very few aberrant individuals have been recorded, with just one single leucistic and one melanistic bird reported. You can imagine that this bird flying in quickly past one of the hides could cause a moment or two of excitement/confusion!


Due to the spells of heavy rain over the weekend and into the Bank Holiday it put paid to anymore wader sessions in the current location, due to Bank Island soon resembling a pool of water instead of the thick mud of last week that had brought in all the waders. Numbers of waders quickly dropped over the weekend, with the majority of them moving onto Wheldrake but the numbers weren’t quite as high, leading us to believe that some had decided to move on. 


The rain kept falling and the waters were still rising by Tuesday, however we did find one small area which was home to a good number of Snipe, and so early in the morning whilst setting the nets for the evening/dawn catch we managed to catch one Snipe, plus spring trap a Common Sandpiper (3rd in the last 7 days).

After a long day working on Skipwith Common doing scrub clearance everyone was beat but upon return to Bank Island a brood of Shoveler and a number of Coot were present on one of the small pools. Quick change of plan, instead of heading home we donned the waders and tried our luck, it paid off with 5 Coot (2 adults, 3 pulli), a Shoveler duckling and Moorhen hand caught!

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