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 resume over the winter months, and will run alongside wildlife and work posts.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

05/12/14 - A welcome visitor

Using National Nature Reserves as places of research and monitoring has always been an important part of their role – and it’s always good to use the reserves as demonstration sites and to be able to share experiences from the wealth of knowledge from around the national NNR series. 

Last week Tom Bolderstone, reserve manager from Dersingham Bog NNR in North Norfolk came up to spend a couple of days with the LDV NNR staff and volunteer ringers in a study tour to share and exchange ideas. On arrival Tom met up with reserve staff and had a look round the NNR finding out about our science and research programme, how it's managed and how volunteers play a vital role in delivering that work, especially in the face of reducing budgets and resources. The following day saw Tom join Mike and some of our volunteers to find out how it all works from their perspective, and he even managed a little bit of ringing, catching a Little Grebe on the River Derwent using a floating net – a new species and technique for Tom. 



The Pocklington Canal is a favoured location for Little Grebes, with three being present over the last few weeks. Over recent years several birds have been caught here, and a total of 43 have been ringed in the valley since ringing began in 1989. However we are yet to receive any information or re-sightings (several caught here have been colour-ringed). Not many Little Grebes are ringed in the UK each year, with just 1674 caught since ringing began over 100 years ago, so any information of their movements would help move forward our understanding of the species.


The evening saw the ‘team’ then undertake a successful Reed Bunting roost catch in a local reedbed, accounting for 50 newly ringed Reed Buntings - a pleasing catch and a good number to add to the sample that Mike ringed towards the end of the summer.

Tom's trip then finished off with a couple of Mute Swans hooked off the Pocklington Canal near Melbourne – another new method and ring size to try out.

It was a pleasure having Tom up here for a couple days and good to find out about some of the amazing work being carried out tagging Nightjars at Dersingham. We wish Tom and his colleagues well with their ringing activities and look forward to hearing about all the soon to be caught Little Grebes in Norfolk.

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