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.

Monday, 22 June 2015

20/06/15 - Spring visit to the heronry

During the middle of last month the team made the annual visit into the local heronry to colour-ring a sample of the Grey Heron chicks. This was the second visit into the heronry, although the first chicks of the year - on our first visit we found all the nests had failed shortly after the young chicks had hatched. It was suspected that the young chicks were predated by the pair of Red Kites that had set up residence in the heronry. Fortunately (for the herons), the pair of Red Kites had moved on by the time the adults had re-laid, and so on this visit we were able to fit colour-rings to 21 chicks that were carefully lowered to the ground by our colleagues at Lewis Tree Surgery. 


All the chicks appeared to be a good size with some of the largest not that far off fledging, so keep an eye out for the first young appearing on Wheldrake in the next week or so. In total 28 active nests were recorded for the long running BTO heronry census.




Ringing in the heronry over the years has shown that soon after fledging the young tend to disperse north into North Yorkshire, Cleveland and Northumberland, although one bird headed south last summer into Derbyshire. There are two foreign interchanges with the valley from ringing studies – both birds were ringed as nestlings in the Netherlands in the early 1970’s and found here. Please let us know if you come across any colour-ringed birds which will help us build up a bigger picture of their movements.

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