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, 29 June 2016

23/06/16 - Restoring the decoy

Over the last few weeks our band of East Coast volunteers have been lending a helping hand with the ever increasing work load in the valley - and with deadlines looming we've been working hard at the Escrick Duck Decoy, with Reserve Manager Fallon Mahon taking the lead on an exciting restoration project.

Accompanied by Fallon, the team helped put together the screens alongside the netted pipes from which our piper dog, Ruby, will appear, weaving in and out of view and hopefully luring the ducks up the pipes before they are caught – in order to ring them only these days of course. The team worked really hard digging holes, firming in the posts and building the frames to support the screens whilst Ruby looked on – perhaps contemplating her future role! Many thanks as ever to everyone for their hard work and efforts – it’ll be really exciting to see the decoy in operation this autumn for the first time in over 150 years – more details of open days to follow at a later date.







As mentioned in an earlier blog post, this is the product of months of hard work in the decoy, which started in autumn 2014, and will hopefully be finished over the course of the next month. From the early to mid-1800s duck decoys were commonly found across the low counties in the UK, with the idea coming from the Netherlands – the Dutch translation of decoy meaning duck trap. The principle plays on the ducks habit of swimming towards a fox and then following it, in order to keep it in view rather than having a surprise attack launched. The dog, looking fox-like, would be used to lure ducks up a netted pipe before the decoy man showed himself, the ducks would then be herded towards the catching area. The decoys largely fell into dis-repair and out of favour when gun powder became much more widely available, and now only a handful of working/restored decoys remain in the country. Many thanks again to everyone involved in the project - especially our fantastic volunteers. 

2 comments:

  1. Absolutely brilliant! So pleased to see this happening.
    Cheers
    Tim Dixon

    ReplyDelete
  2. Absolutely brilliant! So pleased to see this happening.
    Cheers
    Tim Dixon

    ReplyDelete