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.

Monday, 7 September 2015

05/09/15 - Passerine the time

Over recent weeks NNR volunteer Mike has been carrying out his annual monitoring of breeding and passage warblers at Wheldrake Ings. This ‘constant effort type’ ringing project has been running for five years now and is providing some valuable data on species trends and annual productivity, as well as the importance and management of Wheldrake Ings for warblers.

Results from this year so far suggest it’s been a particularly good season for Blackcaps with over 230 ringed – in contrast to a previous best yearly total of 130.  On the other hand it hasn’t been such a good year for Sedge and Reed Warblers with lower numbers caught and ringed, with a greater percentage of adults being caught - suggesting that lower breeding productivity of these two species is the main driver for that change. It’s also been a later season than normal with many young locally bred birds still being recorded and with Willow Warbler numbers peaking late August (as opposed to the first two weeks in August) – with 304 new birds already caught and ringed.

Sedge Warbler

Mike’s ringing has proved to be a valuable method of assessing some of the population trends and factors affecting the warbler populations on the Ings, as well as our resident passerine birds (Wrens have had a bumper year with good productivity late in the summer) – all of this compliments our Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data from earlier in the year. With 1200 warblers newly ringed this year so far it’s also likely to yield some interesting movements over the next few years as well. The early morning sessions have also produced one or two nice surprises with two Redstarts being trapped, two Kingfishers and the first ever record of Aquatic Warbler for the area – well done and thanks to Mike for his ongoing efforts.

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