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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Tuesday, 7 November 2017

03/11/17 - Wigeon return

With waterfowl numbers now building up in the valley following the first returning flood water, and Wigeon returning from the breeding grounds in Iceland and Eastern Europe, numbers have already reached 3000+. Wigeon are our most numerous wintering bird in the valley, with numbers peaking between January and March (depending on flooding), at around 15,000 birds in recent years. Unlike some of our duck species, Wigeon like to feed on the grasses and herbs of the short sheep-grazed aftermath around the edges of the flooded Ings, where they can fly back to the safety of the open water if disturbed, before quickly swimming back to graze once again. At this time of year the birds will readily come to grain, and so we have been baiting a couple of areas to catch a sample in order to ring them. 233 were caught and ringed at Bank Island last week, which will hopefully help us understand their breeding grounds, migration routes, longevity and site faithfulness, as well as an opportunity to monitor breeding success and the percentage of young in the catches. Many thanks to all the volunteers who make this research and monitoring possible, and to Agrii UK for the kind donation of grain.

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