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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Thursday, 7 November 2013


Below is a snippet of how October unfolded on the bird front, however for the full write up and more information on the other wildlife species seen on the NNR and nearby Skipwith Common follow the link here.

October is an exciting time for bird watching, with the change of season and migration in full swing the potential is there for the unexpected to occur. This October certainly didn’t fail to deliver with some of the most notable migration watches taking place between the 5th and the 12th. The fairly dry conditions continued throughout the month - very different from this time last year.

The Wash Dykes drying out - Skipwith Common

The 5th saw a noticeable movement of Skylark through the valley, along with the last sizable departing flocks of Swallows and Martins heading south, alongside incoming Pink-footed Geese on the 5th and 6th. Increasing numbers of Song Thrush and Robins were noted at this time, possibly filtering inland from the coastal influxes seen the previous week. Small numbers of Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps moved through the reserve with a Cetti’s Warbler on the 5th and then the star find - the first reserve Yellow-browed Warbler at Bank Island from the 6th.

The next few days provided good raptor watching conditions with Red Kite, Marsh Harrier, Osprey and Hobby leading the cast, whilst the wandering Great White Egret put in yet another very brief appearance at Wheldrake on the 8th. A change in the weather to easterly winds and showers/rain opened the migration flood gates on the 10th with 2200 Redwing, 350 Fieldfare, 16 Brambling and the first 3 returning Whooper Swans being noted. 

Whooper Swans - North Duffield Carrs 
The same weather system was responsible for a large displacement of Gannets out of the north sea and into the Humber Estuary. As many as 700 birds may have moved up the Humber, reaching as far as the Humber Bridge which appears to be a huge barrier to them. However, many did pass over and under the bridge and continued inland. This movement brought singles over North Duffield on the 10th with another rescued nearby the following day. What was presumably the same movement may have also accounted for a Great Skua heading east over Bank Island on the 15th – the third record for the reserve following individuals in 1981 and 2007.

Rescued Gannet from a farmer's field near Malton - JT

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