That said, the success of this type of ringing depends on dogged determination and persistence, so despite many early starts and failed attempts, dedicated members of the LDV Team kept pushing the corale trap at Wheldrake Ings (which was so successful in rounding up our geese in May). Low numbers of moulting drake Mallards were caught and despite continuous blank sessions throughout the majority of July the spirit of never giving up finally paid off with a brood of four Shoveler and two Gadwall ducklings caught on the last day of the month.
Various broods of Gadwall, Shoveler and a crèche of 14 Tufted Ducks on the top pond at North Duffield Carrs also meant several hard, hot and tiring sessions in chest waders in the searing heat fighting against the bulrush’s to drive the birds towards the nets. A lot of effort per bird but very successful in adding six Gadwall and four Tufted Ducks to the annual totals in three short sessions during the first week of August.
Whilst there we also took the opportunity to catch the only cygnet the Mute Swan pair on the top pond raised this year - again reflecting the small clutch sizes and subsequent brood sizes we have seen this year.
We have also just received news of one of our Grey Herons (yellow darvic 28) that was colour-ringed on the 17th May this year at the local heronry - 1 of a brood of two. It is presently residing at Nosterfield Nature Reserve near Ripon and again (following our other two recoveries) suggests a fairly rapid post breeding dispersal to the north. Many thanks to Jill Warwick from the East Dales Ringing Group for passing on the information and sending us the following photograph.
Surprisingly given the large numbers of young Grey Herons we’ve had on the reserve this year (and checked for rings) we’ve not had any local re-sightings and so it’s maybe that the young Grey Herons that are now present in the valley have dispersed from elsewhere and are not the previously assumed local population. We’ve certainly had one visitor with the herons that’s come from a more southerly location. Many thanks to Robert Dawson for allowing us to reproduce his photographs taken below from Pool Hide, Wheldrake Ings on the 16th August.