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, 18 July 2016

13/07/16 - Pulling

At this time of year our team of staff, volunteers and contractors have been working hard out in the meadows hand pulling Marsh Ragwort once again. Although ragwort is a natural component of the unimproved and seasonally flooded hay meadow communities, it is poisonous to livestock when included in the hay cut. As a result, the team have been removing it in order to keep the cutting of the meadows for hay (the main underpinning management of the site), as viable as possible for our tenants and the local farming community. On a warm sunny day the meadows are a fantastic place to be - brimming with Greater Burnet, Pepper Saxifrage, Yellow Rattle and Ragged Robin, whilst singing Curlews and drumming Snipe are heard over head, although the work is incredibly hard! Especially on the cold and wet days like we've experienced recently when time goes very slowly! So a big thank you to our team for getting stuck in to the job whatever the weather, especially our new volunteers.

Following the rather delayed start to the breeding wader season as a result of the prolonged and lingering winter floods, there are still several late broods of Lapwing chicks around the reserve at the moment, including newly hatched young at Thornton Ellers and North Duffield Carrs. At the latter site a single pair made a scrape and laid four eggs on the bund in front of Garganey Hide, with the eggs only hatching recently having been laid quite late. Last week whilst out checking ditches and managing water levels on the Carrs we spotted one chick feeding in the long grass, as we approached it sat down tucking itself amongst the vegetation. It was well camouflaged against the ground with its dark grey/brown mottled coat, pictured below.

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