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.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

July round-up

Slow off the mark but worth the wait? The July sightings are now written up and online to read or peruse the photos, see the tab above or follow the link here. A full breakdown of all the bird species seen in the Lower Derwent Valley & Skipwith Common can be read on there, along with details of mammal, reptile, butterfly, dragonfly, moth, plant and other invertebrate records. Below is a brief summary of how the month un-folded, or click here for the full write-up.

July saw - the start of the autumn passage, the last of the breeding waders fledge and the final duck broods appear as the water levels receded. Wader passage was slow to begin with, and was as usual dominated by Green Sandpipers. A count of 84 Common Snipe on Wheldrake Ings on the 2nd may well have been local breeders, whilst seven Whimbrel passed through on the same date. A welcome highlight came on the 3rd in the form of a summer plumage Curlew Sandpiper at Bank Island. Eight Black-tailed Godwits and two Little Ringed Plovers on the 8th showed some concerted movement on that day, alongside a notable record of two Sandwich Terns heading south over Bank Island. 

Tufted Duck - Aughton - T.Weston

On the wildfowl front Egyptian Geese bred again and raised another brood in the East Cottingwith area, whilst a record breaking breeding season for Gadwall resulted in a count of 120 on the pool at Wheldrake Ings early in the month. A good showing of Grey Herons and Little Egrets took place whilst Water Rails were vocal and appear to have had a good season with two caught during the month. 

Water Rail - Wheldrake Ings - 16/07

Yet another Osprey passed through the valley on the 1st whilst Marsh Harriers were seen daily and a long staying Red Kite in the Melbourne area continued the general increasing trend whilst Kestrels, having had a productive season were widespread and numerous throughout the valley. As already noted in previous summaries Barn Owls have had a great year with nearly 200 chicks fledged from first broods and many incubating second broods again during the month.

Kestrel - Kexby - T.Weston

Throughout July as the bird interest settled down the invertebrate activity picked up the pace, another two Marbled Whites were recorded at Bank Island and large numbers of butterflies were recorded throughout the site. Dragonflies have had a good year with the majority of records coming from North Duffield Carrs and Skipwith Common, Black Darters in particular showed well at their stronghold.

Black Darter - Skipwith Common - 15/07

Moth trapping continued during the month with several new species appearing for the first time during the month including a fine Oak Eggar and Orange Footman at Bank Island, whilst True Lover’s Knot and Four-Spotted Footman were caught on Skipwith Common.

 Oak Eggar - NNR Base - 24/07

Plenty of new wildflowers, grasses, sedges and rushes were found throughout the month, such as Climbing Corydalis, Common Centaury, Cotton Grass, Flowering Rush, Marsh Pea, Musk Thistle, Pale Persicaria, Round-leaved Sundew, Scarlet Pimpernel and Trifid Bur-marigold.


Musk Thistle - Thornton Ellers - 07/07

A number of other new inverts were found throughout the month – grasshoppers, wasp mimics, hoverflies, beetles, shield bugs and more - for more information follow the link above.

Longhorn Beetle Leptura quadrifasciata - Skipwith - 21/07

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