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, 28 April 2017

17/04/17 - Heat wave

With the recent spell of warm weather there has been a distinctive Mediterranean feel around the valley during the temperatures of 20 degrees last weekend. The much needed spell of warm weather brought out a range of butterflies and reptiles, whilst the bird life has been a little on the exotic side - recent sightings include three Common Cranes and two Great White Egrets, as well as up to sixteen Little Egrets, two Avocets, an adult Little Gull, a singing Cetti’s Warbler, the first returning Whimbrel and 34 Black-tailed Godwits. Our resident breeding Mute Swans have also starting laying clutches around the valley and we’ve just seen the first brood of eight Mallard ducklings at North Duffield Carrs.

Barn Owls are one of the favourite visitors to the Lower Derwent Valley, with the local birders fortunate to enjoy regular sightings, particularly during the summer months. We haven’t seen that many so far this year which is probably a good sign – hopefully meaning they have been finding enough food to survive the winter, which will help get them into good breeding condition for the forthcoming season. With the days now drawing out, we are likely to see more birds appearing on the wing at dusk in order to start hunting – Bank Island and North Duffield Carrs are often the best sites to view them, whilst the Pocklington Canal area is another good location. Later in the year we’ll be checking the progress of our local population, hopefully it’ll be a good season for them – the last couple being rather poor and linked to a dip in the vole cycle on which they depend. However, we have recently heard about one of the few young birds we ringed in the summer of 2015, from a nest box on North Duffield Carrs. This individual had wandered all the way down into Norfolk where it was found in November 2016, unfortunately having been hit by a car – hopefully we’ll receive more controls from the birds ringed that year – and with a happier outcome.

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