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, it now also features wildlife and work posts, explaining we how manage the NNR for both wildlife and people.

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Wednesday, 22 July 2015

20/07/15 - 'Corn blimey'

Lately we've posted a few snippets on here about the LDV’s wildflower meadows, the work we do in them and how important they are. Well last week they produced a real treat, whilst out pulling ragwort our team heard the rather repetitive and rasping call of a male Corncrake coming from a nearby grassy tussock. The LDV NNR is probably one of the most reliable places in England to connect with calling Corncrakes (outside of the English re-introduction project on the Nene Washes in Cambridgeshire), with calling birds generally occurring most years and a bumper 10 singing males in 2009.

We don’t know whether this bird has just turned up and is trying to attract a mate, or whether this is an attempt at a second brood. We’ve worked with the RSPB on Corncrakes in the valley over recent years, with the best techniques on how to catch them, so several of the team were able to lead on this and caught this individual at ease. It was un-ringed so we know it’s not a released bird from the Nene project although it could be one of last year’s ‘wild bred’ young. It did however show a partial brood patch so it may well be breeding and a female bird has since been seen, hopefully they will go on to breed if they haven’t already done so. Upon release the male started calling straight away, again from his ‘patch’ and has continued to do so since. With only a handful of English breeding pairs of this globally threatened species we have arranged for this particular meadow to be left for a later hay cut, in order to allow it the best chance to rear a brood. 

 Male Corncrake - LDV - July 2015

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