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.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

10/02/15 - World Wetlands Day

Last week to mark World Wetlands Day (2nd February), Natural England and the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust joined forces to put on a series of events for visitors to the reserve. The LDV staff arranged a bird ringing demo – which was unfortunately marred by the rather windy conditions, however the small catch delighted everyone, especially the young children who helped to release the birds after they’d been ringed. A guided walk around Wheldrake Ings was then had with the highlights being a Barn Owl hunting and Peregrine bathing in front of the hide. It was brilliant to see so many visitors attend the day, over 80 members of the public visited the NNR Base, including a number of families that took part in the arts, crafts and quiz. 


World Wetlands Day marks the date of the signing of the Convention on Wetlands, on the 2nd February 1971. It was celebrated for the first time in 1997 and made an encouraging start, each year since then government agencies, non-governmental organisations and conservation bodies have helped raise public awareness about the importance and value of wetlands. Wetlands are important for a number of reasons, firstly they support a wealth of habitats and wildlife - from plants, fish, invertebrates, birds and so on. They are also important for social and economic reasons, supporting fisheries and other businesses, providing drinking water supplies and providing areas of flood water storage. Many wetlands have been lost through pollution, development or drainage for agriculture so it's important that we understand and value our remaining source of wetland habitats. 


Towards the end of last year the LDV staff and volunteers teamed up with Ad Astra – a company that provides alternative education for young people who may be dis-engaged with more mainstream education - by using the NNR's, wider countryside and outdoor activities they aim to provide a lifeline and real life changing opportunities for these young people. In conjunction with World Wetlands Day the group came to the NNR Base last week for the day to help with the construction of nest boxes for Tree Sparrows. Here at Bank Island we have a healthy population of Tree Sparrows with approximately 100 wintering and 15-20 pairs breeding. These boxes will now be put up around the reserve to benefit the population and the data will then be added to national monitoring schemes (such as the nest record scheme) and will also help trainees to experience ringing nestlings. The boys are now looking forward to the summer and seeing who has nested in their boxes! 


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