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.

Friday, 1 December 2017

25/11/17 - Winter ringing

Our winter feeding station at Bank Island has certainly been busy lately – attracting a large number of birds which have been enjoyed by the many visitors to the reserve. Up to c50 Tree Sparrows have been present in recent weeks, whilst c40 Goldfinch have added a splash of colour. It’s also been nice to enjoy seeing several Willow Tits using the feeders. As well as providing our feathered friends with a much needed boost as the weather turns colder, it offers us the chance to catch and ring a percentage, and allows us to contribute data into the national monitoring schemes – whilst also providing the opportunity to help train the next generation of ornithologists and researchers. Earlier this week George Day swapped the East Coast for the LDV, and enjoyed a successful catch made up of 70+ birds including a good number of finches – Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Bullfinch and Tree Sparrows. 

Also during the morning, we were pleasantly surprised to find a female Blackcap in one of the rounds – pictured below. Until not long ago, we knew the Blackcap as a summer visitor which arrived in the UK around April, and left again for southern Europe or northern Africa in September. However since the 1960s, the number of Blackcaps which spend the winter in the UK has grown, with ringing showing that many of these have come from Germany (and elsewhere in Eastern Europe), so it's no longer a rare sight to see them in the middle of winter, if you’re lucky you may be fortunate to see one in your garden, where they visit to take advantage of the extra food we supply. To try and tempt them in try putting out fruit, perhaps an apple in the branches of a bush or tree, fat or even seeds.

Many thanks to George for joining us on the day, and it was great to be able to show Mike and the students from AdAstra a few birds at close range, and thanks once again to Agrii-UK for their kind ongoing support of grain for our feeding stations.


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