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.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

20/07/17 - Ducklings & decoys

Our invaluable team of hardy volunteers have been busy helping out with all sorts of jobs at Wheldrake Ings recently – even in the miserable and very wet weather of last week – a bit of rain obviously doesn’t faze our hardy crew! Along with clearing glades, managing water levels, maintaining paths and removing balsam, the team have also helped in pushing the corale and running the swan pipe to catch and ring some of our locally bred ducklings. It’s been a particularly good year for Gadwall with over 60 ducklings in various broods still present on the pool – out of those we’ve managed to catch 17 so far – a significant proportion of the national annual total. This will give us valuable information of this expanding population and where some of our ‘local’ ducks go to. We’ve had several Gadwall ducklings to France, two to Ireland and even one to Russia. 

We are also pleased to announce that we’ve just secured a £15,000 grant from Defra to carry out such further tracking work using newer technology on some of these birds – more to come shortly but exciting times ahead and more great work for our volunteers to be part of. Many thanks again to our great team for another productive day – and fantastic to welcome new volunteer Jo to the group.

Not only have we been busy working on the reserve lately, but we've also been putting the finishing touches to the Escrick Duck Decoy - last week our team of staff and volunteers were busy undertaking ongoing maintenance of this restored site. In very hot temperatures (stark contrast to last week’s rain!), the team spent the day working hard strimming back the pool side vegetation, cleaning out the pipes, treating the hide, and putting in way marked posts. Another fantastic effort from our super team, many thanks to all involved. 


Duck decoys were originally introduced from the Netherlands as a way of catching ducks for the local markets, with hundreds once in operation throughout England, however only a handful remain today. The Escrick site is the only remaining and restored site in Yorkshire, and will soon be operated to catch and ring ducks to further our knowledge of their movements. We have an ‘official’ opening event planned for early September, followed by an Open Day on the 9th September – watch this space for more details. Many thanks again to everyone for their efforts in helping to get this site up and running.

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