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, regular readers may have noticed the increase in posts detailing wildlife found across the valley (ranging from plants, fungi, butterflies, dragonflies & other invertebrates). Ringing posts will hopefully resume over the winter months, and will run alongside wildlife and work posts.

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

29/02/12 - A ringing success!

February 2012 can only be described as a record breaker, a total of 407 new wildfowl being the highest monthly total ever achieved, and beating the previous best February (2005, when 174 waterfowl were ringed) by an impressive 233!

Wildfowl totals for the month/year are as follows:

                                    January        February         Total
 

Little Grebe
1
0
1
Brent Goose
0
1
1
Shelduck
4
54
58
Wigeon
42
65
107
Teal
88
166
253
Mallard
19
111
130
Pintail
0
5
5
Moorhen
1
3
4
Coot
1
3
4
Total
156
408
563

Whilst it’s obviously pleasing to have had a successful month with large numbers of ducks ringed (which will hopefully lead to some useful data coming back over the next decade or so), the totals here are of national significance. Looking back over the national totals for the last published years (2008-2010) it shows that 57 Shelduck represent c20-30% of the annual UK totals, with figures of 30-70% for Wigeon, c20% for Teal and 2-24% for Pintail. Nice that the LDV NNR and the team are really adding to the national dataset as well as providing some useful local data.  

The Shelduck numbers have increased since our last post, with 58 new birds now ringed, a further 14 re-traps from previous years (8 from 2011, 2 from 2010, 2006 and 2005) and the control from Martin Mere WWT. That’s 73 individuals out of the 100+ present in the valley recorded with rings on this year - many with black darvics too. Interestingly more of the recent ‘new’ birds have been females supporting the theory that they arrive back in the valley later than the males - so maybe more to come yet.

The weights and wing lengths of many ducks but especially Teal have been interesting (as posted previously) during the cold weather. Although 110,000 Teal have been ringed in the UK over the last 100 years, the Ringing and Migration Atlas suggest Teal show ‘a remarkable capacity to respond to local conditions, either moving almost continually, to a cessation of movement, all carried out on a continental scale. The fluidity that this implies has considerable conservation implications. It goes on to say ‘continued ringing....particularly of birds using the UK during the winter, is important if the use of cold weather refuges is to be monitored successfully’.  

We are aware that the blog has become somewhat ‘waterfowl dominated’ this year. Obviously that’s one of our priorities given the interest of the NNR/SPA/Ramsar designations and the blog is intended to be a reflection of what we get up to and there are plenty of other blogs about passerine ringing out there, but don’t worry - we have other things planned too....watch this space!

Finally, a few sightings whilst we’ve been out and about and other records from the reserve - a Short-Eared Owl and several Barn Owls are still showing well at North Duffield Carrs in recent days, whilst there has been a sudden big arrival of Curlew (c200) and Oystercatcher (20) back into the valley during the last week, along with the first five Black-tailed Godwits. The Wheldrake Gull roost has also been providing interest with up to 5 different Iceland Gulls (part of the nationwide influx) and 2 Glaucous Gulls present. A wintering Chiffchaff is still present in the Wheldrake car park but it won’t be long now until the first migrants return!

27/02/12 - 2011 final totals

After putting together all the data from the various ringers and places within the Lower Derwent Valley we now have the final totals for 2011, shown below along with the totals from 1989. 2011 finished with 6810 birds ringed and new additions to the species list were Hobby, Common Gull and Crossbill, making that 148 different bird species ringed in the Lower Derwent Valley. This year, we've already added another new species to the list - the Brent Goose that appeared in the catching area of the whoosh net at North Duffield last week! Which special bird is going to be number 150 we wonder....!

1989-2010 2011 1989-2011
1 Little Grebe 35 3 38
2 Great Crested Grebe 1 0 1
3 Black-necked Grebe 13 0 13
4 Manx Shearwater 1 0 1
5 Cormorant 272 6 278
6 Grey Heron 95 0 95
7 Mute Swan 466 14 480
8 Bewick's Swan 1 0 1
9 Whooper Swan 40 5 45
10 Pink-footed Goose 3 0 3
11 Greylag Goose 515 80 595
12 Canada Goose 146 16 162
13 Barnacle Goose 1 0 1
14 Egyptian Goose 1 0 1
15 Shelduck 286 59 345
16 Mandarin 1 0 1
17 Wigeon  1618 282 1900
18 Gadwall  208 7 215
19 Teal 1373 217 1590
20 Mallard 2698 373 3071
21 Pintail 16 7 23
22 Garganey 15 0 15
23 Shoveler 116 9 125
24 Pochard 5 0 5
25 Scaup 1 0 1
26 Tufted Duck 133 1 134
27 Ring-necked Duck 1 0 1
28 Goldeneye 4 0 4
29 Ruddy Duck 13 0 13
30 Marsh Harrier 1 0 1
31 Sparrowhawk 19 8 27
32 Buzzard 6 0 6
33 Hobby 0 2 2
34 Kestrel 96 22 118
35 Grey Partridge 11 0 11
36 Quail 17 0 17
37 Spotted Crake 3 0 3
38 Water Rail 47 0 47
39 Moorhen 1358 33 1391
40 Coot 497 6 503
41 Oystercatcher 18 0 18
42 Little Ringed Plover 14 0 14
43 Golden Plover 1 0 1
44 Ringed Plover 1 0 1
45 Lapwing 686 27 713
46 Little Stint 2 0 2
47 Buff-breasted Sandpiper 1 0 1
48 Dunlin 21 0 21
49 Ruff 20 0 20
50 Black-tailed Godwit 2 0 2
51 Jack Snipe 85 0 85
52 Snipe 275 8 283
53 Woodcock 1 0 1
54 Whimbrel 97 0 97
55 Curlew 90 6 96
56 Redshank 307 17 324
57 Greenshank 2 0 2
58 Green Sandpiper 16 4 20
59 Wood Sandpiper 1 0 1
60 Common Sandpiper 4 0 4
61 Black-headed Gull 508 0 508
62 Common Gull 0 1 1
63 Herring Gull 2 0 2
64 Great Black-backed Gull 2 0 2
65 Collared Dove 2 0 2
66 Turtle Dove 1 0 1
67 Stock Dove 165 10 175
68 Wood Pigeon 42 7 49
69 Barn Owl 772 38 810
70 Little Owl 52 1 53
71 Tawny Owl 77 12 89
72 Long-eared Owl 7 1 8
73 Cuckoo 1 1 2
74 Nightjar 1 0 1
75 Swift 124 47 171
76 Kingfisher 74 13 87
77 Lesser Spotted Woodpecker 1 0 1
78 Great Spotted Woodpecker 31 27 58
79 Green Woodpecker 2 0 2
80 Skylark 42 6 48
81 Woodlark 5 4 9
82 Sand Martin 924 168 1092
83 Swallow 1992 193 2185
84 House Martin 31 0 31
85 Tree Pipit 3 3 6
86 Meadow Pipit 197 66 263
87 Yellow Wagtail 2 2 4
88 Grey Wagtail  4 0 4
89 Pied Wagtail 39 1 40
90 Waxwing 11 0 11
91 Wren 330 82 412
92 Dunnock 454 109 563
93 Robin 375 86 461
94 Nightingale 1 0 1
95 Redstart 3 0 3
96 Whinchat 5 2 7
97 Stonechat 3 0 3
98 Wheatear 3 2 5
99 Blackbird 571 86 657
100 Fieldfare 57 5 62
101 Song Thrush 126 28 154
102 Redwing 52 8 60
103 Mistle Thrush 1 0 1
104 Cetti's Warbler 3 0 3
105 Grasshopper Warbler 5 15 20
106 Sedge Warbler 341 376 717
107 Reed Warbler 596 243 839
108 Lesser Whitethroat 59 10 69
109 Whitethroat 118 110 228
110 Garden Warbler 115 42 157
111 Blackcap 306 193 499
112 Chiffchaff 377 359 736
113 Willow Warbler 547 450 997
114 Goldcrest 63 29 92
115 Firecrest 1 0 1
116 Bearded Reedling 1 0 1
117 Spotted Flycatcher 25 0 25
118 Long Tailed Tit 375 169 544
119 Marsh Tit 56 15 71
120 Willow Tit 114 14 128
121 Coal Tit 142 95 237
122 Blue Tit 1837 386 2223
123 Great Tit 1500 518 2018
124 Treecreeper 82 47 129
125 Nuthatch 3 8 11
126 Great Grey Shrike 1 1 2
127 Red-backed Shrike 1 0 1
128 Jay 10 1 11
129 Magpie 11 2 13
130 Jackdaw  103 10 113
131 Rook 9 0 9
132 Carrion Crow 21 0 21
133 Starling 92 5 97
134 House Sparrow 215 7 222
135 Tree Sparrow 1123 190 1313
136 Chaffinch 900 240 1140
137 Brambling 108 2 110
138 Greenfinch 1096 108 1204
139 Goldfinch 390 110 500
140 Siskin 46 3 49
141 Linnet 182 44 226
142 Crossbill 0 1 1
143 Lesser Redpoll 23 69 92
144 Common Redpoll 2 8 10
145 Bullfinch 283 151 434
146 Yellowhammer 87 19 106
147 Reed Bunting 1346 511 1857
148 Corn Bunting 199 28 227
Total 31786 6810 38596