Last year we managed to ring and darvic 22 birds over the course of four days throughout April and May, with the first visit being on the 16th April and the last being on the 17th May. Out of the 22 birds ringed last year we’ve had two sightings, which is much in line with the national reporting rate of 11%. The first bird was seen briefly locally however the second was seen at Nosterfield Nature Reserve, nr Ripon on the 16th August, three months after being ringed in our heronry.
Foreign recoveries from birds ringed in Britain only make up 3% of the total with the most being in France, and prior to 1940 the proportion of recoveries in foreign countries has declined from 12% to 2% in the 1990’s but the reasons remain unknown as to why. Despite herons being relatively common and widespread there are gaps in our knowledge of heron movements, including the movement during the year of adult birds and the apparent population shift towards coastal areas in the winter as suggested by counts. The national data does however suggest that general dispersal movements occur over the first five months of life, later returning to the natal site to breed, which fits with what we suspected was happening in the valley.