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.

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

17/01/18 - Winter wildfowl

With extensive flooding around the reserve at the moment it has been difficult to access the whole site in order to undertake our monthly monitoring counts. However, the team made it onto Wheldrake Ings earlier in the week due to a temporary fall in water levels – waders are no longer needed but wellies are essential. Large flocks of ducks were present including c4000 Wigeon, 4950 Teal, an impressive 370 Pintail, 170 Shoveler, 143 Gadwall, 126 Tufted Duck and 67 Pochard.  


As well as carrying out an age assessment of our wintering swans, we’ve also been recording the sex of our wintering ducks as part of a new project looking at wintering areas, with many duck populations undergoing rapid changes in distribution and/or numbers. The sex ratio counts also revealed the following (male) totals – Pochard as expected showed the greatest variation with 86% males, with the other diving duck species, Tufted Duck, having 69% males. Other sample counts included Pintail (65%), Shoveler (61%), Gadwall (59%) and Wigeon/Teal showing 52% and 55% bias respectively. Thanks to our team for doing their bit and adding data from the valley to the international waterbird census.

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