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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Friday, 19 August 2016

16/08/16 - Eye eye

Local birder and wildlife photographer Terry Weston recently sent us this superb photograph of a male Kestrel that he took near to the valley on an adjacent farm. As can be clearly seen in the photo, this particular bird only has one eye – presumably having somehow damaged it whilst fighting off a predator or perhaps a territorial male. This is the second year that Terry has been watching this male, and despite his injury he managed to pair up with an interested female and raised a brood last year. Much to Terry’s delight he re-found the male again this year, and watched as he successfully bred with another female, perhaps the same…and raised three chicks to fledging. It’s fantastic to know that not only is the male managing to survive and hunt, but also that he’s raised another brood successfully - albeit with a helping hand from the kind landowner.

Pictured below is Terry's photograph of the brood of three chicks, which are one of many on the reserve this year. Several newly fledged family parties have been seen lately – perhaps the broods that were ringed in our boxes around the reserve in mid-June. Each year whilst the farmers are hard at work in the meadows, we see an increase in Kestrels on the Ings as they follow the cutting tractors, no doubt picking up a few voles, frogs and toads and any other food items exposed as a result. Some of the youngsters have also been seen sitting on the bales watching the adults teaching them to hunt, it’s certainly nice to see these birds doing so well, and to see the next generation learning the skills required to survive. Many thanks to Terry for sharing his photographs with us.

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