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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Monday, 5 November 2012

31/10/12 - Flooded out (still)

It’s been a while since our last blog post but that’s because it’s been a while since we last managed to ring anything and even longer since we last had any dry land on which to ring on!

All’s not been lost though, one determined group member has one site (details confidential) which isn’t completely under water and three short mist netting sessions at dawn have produced a respectable 8 Common Snipe and 10 Jack Snipe, all of which have now been colour-ringed. This is a great result and has kept the focus going on these amazing little birds in what seems to be a rather good autumn for them. We’ve also controlled one of our own Snipe in the last few days which we originally ringed at Bank Island on 9th September, it now appears to be wintering about 7 km away - a nice recovery and only our third piece of information from the 300+ ringed. Hopefully out of the 92 Common Snipe and 12 Jacks colour-ringed so far this year some will get re-sighted on their travels.

We don’t often mention passerine ringing on here as there are lots of other ringing blogs which cover this type of activity. However, Dave has been having some interesting results on Skipwith Common NNR with a total of 37 Lesser Redpoll being ringed there in the last few weeks. We haven’t ringed many Redpoll in the area as they are not a particularly common bird here, especially  in recent years, so the two birds Dave has caught wearing UK and Dutch rings will provide some useful information on movements.

Jean also brought in what must be one of the luckiest Mute Swans ever (depending on which way you look at it). Rather unluckily, this young bird found itself on a railway line and was unluckier still, when despite the prompt reaction of the driver, it was hit by a train, throwing it up into the air and back down to the ground. It was duly recovered but looked somewhat unsurprisingly, rather unwell. A night at Jean's saw it looking slightly better and a thorough inspection and x-rays at the vets showed it to have sustained no obvious injuries, however it was very flat, couldn't raise its head and was bruised. But then just 10 days later, and no doubt spurred on by some other 'swanny' company, it was ringed and released on the NNR with another first winter cygnet, where it appears to be enjoying a more relaxed and uneventful time. Hopefully it will be a little bit more wary of trains from now on! 

Jean has also had a run of very late Barn Owl young - presumably second or replacement clutches from those lost earlier in the season. These birds have been picked up as a last resort when found wandering around on the ground and almost starved, the adults presumably struggling to find food for them or perhaps where one of the adults has been lost. Either way, they fair well with Jean and will be soft-released back at their natal sites.


  1. I've been ringing quite a lot of Redpolls at Allerthorpe Common. You might have one of mine. If you want to check, e-mail me on syrphus@hotmail.co.uk.

    Ian Andrews

  2. Thanks Ian, we'll be in touch.

  3. Great to know someone else is catching good numbers of Jack Snipe. We (midwalesringers.blogspot.com) currently ring 15-20 a year. Surely one of us will get a recovery soon. It'll be interesting to know how effective the colour ringing is on both the Common and Jack Snipe.

    1. Hi Paul, thanks for your comment, between us we must be ringing almost half the annual total of Jacks in the UK. It would be great to get an interchange or recovery from one of these - the odds are pretty small but hopefully the use of colour-rings may just increase our chances in this digital photography age. Great blog by the way, very interested in your dazzling techniques as it has been something we have been trying to master oursleves - would love to come down and get some tips if at all possible!