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.

For daily sightings please visit our Twitter account: https://twitter.com/ldv_nnr (@LDV_NNR)

For details of events, volunteer tasks and wildlife images please visit our Facebook account: https://www.facebook.com/Lower-Derwent-Valley-Skipwith-Common-NNR

Sep' 18

Lower Derwent Valley NNR - September Sightings


A rather uneventful month, with the ongoing drought conditions supressing autumn wader passage and the usual build-up of wintering waterfowl until late in the month. That said there was a noticeable change in the seasons with a distinctly more autumnal feel to preceding during the second half of the month. With the drier than normal ground conditions allowing additional habitat management works (and the construction of the new Swantail Hide), the site is looking in great condition for birds and birdwatchers alike for the coming winter and spring.


The first Pink-footed Geese of the season headed south on the 14th with various skein’s recorded thereafter, including a large movement on the 22nd and 23rd. The first four Whooper Swans headed south at Wheldrake on the 22nd when, following some heavy rain in the preceding days, Teal numbers jumped to 250 on the pool at Wheldrake, attracting a single drake Garganey with them. There was plenty of interest in raptors with regular sightings of several Red Kites, Hobbies and up to 7 or 8 Marsh Harriers throughout the month, with two Goshawk sightings and two Ospreys reported (10th and 18th). There was also an increase in Peregrine sightings with one unfortunate individual hit by a car near Seaton Ross on the 22nd, soon after being put to sleep. Wader passage was largely confined to early in the month with the highlight being a Wood Sandpiper on the 1st – 3rd, and up to eight Green Sandpipers present early in the month, although just one or two remained at month end. Small numbers of Curlew moved through on passage whilst the first returning Golden Plover built up to 100 near Raker Lakes. 


A Raven over Skipwith Common on the 1st was noteworthy, as was a Long-eared Owl at Wheldrake on the 4th. The usual movement of Skylark and Meadow Pipits saw a fly over Tree Pipit on the 25th and brought a notable movement of Yellow Wagtails (with a peak of 22 on the 2nd). Several Grey Wagtails were also logged during the month. A notable movement of Chiffchaff and Blackcap continued throughout, whilst three Crossbill went south on 27th


Many thanks as always to everyone who has submitted records throughout the month, in particular to members of the YOC and regular valley birder Duncan Bye, thanks also to Duncan for the use of his photographs (credited DB).




BIRDS: 


Mute Swan – The resident breeding pairs, with broods, were joined by small numbers of incoming non-breeding birds returning from moulting sites elsewhere. Up to 25 non-breeding birds had returned by month end.


Whooper Swan – The first four adults of the autumn were present at Wheldrake Ings on the 22nd (MS) – a rather early appearance.


Greylag Goose – 70+ were present at Wheldrake at dawn on the 23rd – the first autumn flock instantly attracted to the rising water levels. Several groups were frequently encountered thereafter as birds returned and moved around the local area, with 100+ on the pool at Wheldrake at dawn on the 27th and 30th.


Pink-footed Goose – The first of the autumn was a skein of 130 south over Thorganby Ings on the 14th (SW) followed by 22 south-east later in the morning at Wheldrake. A total of 120 headed south east during the 15th with 61 noted over on the 16th. 63 passed over on the 21st with 117 over on the 22nd and 84 on the 23rd, on which date a further 169 passed over nearby Skipwith Common NNR. 67 headed over the valley on the 25th with 145 in two skeins south on the 27th. 50 flew south over Stamford Bridge on the 28th with 99 on the 29th and 197 on the 30th. A total of 1324 recorded during the month.


Canada Goose – 59 flew over Wheldrake at dusk on the 21st – the first returning birds from the Scottish moulting sites.  


Wigeon – A poor month, no doubt impacted by the lack of water, with the species only just making it onto the monthly list by virtue of two at Wheldrake Ings on the 29th – the first returning birds.


Teal – Following a quiet start to the month with the ongoing dry conditions, a combination of heavy rain and pumping water back onto the pool at Wheldrake saw numbers jump to 250 there on the 22nd.  

 
Teal - Wheldrake - 22/09 - DB


Garganey – A single appeared with Teal on the pool at Wheldrake on the 22nd/23rd.


Mallard – Up to 500 roosted at Wheldrake Ings early in the month but only low numbers present thereafter.


Grey Heron – Present in small numbers throughout the month with 17 at Wheldrake on the 1st being the monthly maximum.


Little Egret – Two were at Wheldrake on the 2nd followed by singles there on the 11th, 13th and 16th. Three were present on the new scrapes at Bank Island on the 21st and again on the 28th.


Little Grebe – Two on the top pond at North Duffield Carrs on the 11th.


Red Kite – Reported regularly from Wheldrake, Storwood, Thorganby and North Duffield Carrs throughout the month.


Goshawk – A single was present over the Oaks at Aughton on the 21st with another, an adult male, at Bank Island on the 26th.


Marsh Harrier – A single adult male, first summer male, adult female and up to four cream crowns were present in and around the valley throughout the month, with the same or another adult male between Escrick and Skipwith on the 12th.


Osprey – A single was reported over Skipwith Common on the 10th with another near Wheldrake on the 18th.


Peregrine – Singles were present at Wheldrake on the 15th and 21st, followed by one at Elvington on the 24th. Two were present at Bank Island towards dusk on 27th. A single sub-adult female was picked up having been hit by a car near Seaton Ross on the 22nd - due to the nature of its injuries it sadly had to be put to sleep (JT).


Hobby – Seen regularly throughout the month with sightings from Bank Island, Wheldrake and Thorganby (one to two birds) along with a group of three over North Duffield village on the 9th. Singles were still present at Bank Island, Wheldrake and Thorganby on the 16th, followed by others at Wheldrake and Skipwith Common on the 23rd. A single was present at North Duffield Carrs on the 26th and Wheldrake on the 30th.


Sparrowhawk – Increasingly encountered during the month as post breeding dispersal and movement occurred. 

 
Sparrowhawk - Elvington - 09/09 - JC


Water Rail – Several juveniles remained early in the month with at least two calling birds remaining in the area of Swantail Hide following an excellent breeding season.


Golden Plover – 21 circled Wheldrake Ings on the 3rd with seven south there on the 11th before 76 appeared in the usual wintering fields opposite Raker Lakes, Wheldrake, on the 15th. This flock increased to 88 the following day and to 103 by the 17th, with c80 thereafter.  Seven flew north-west at Wheldrake on the 29th.


Little Ringed Plover – A single was present at Bank Island on the 1st.


Ringed Plover – A single flew over the scrape at Swantail, Wheldrake, on the 10th.


Lapwing – Scarce during the month with a flock of 54 flying into Wheldrake Ings on the 17th.  


Common Snipe – Two at Bank Island and two at North Duffield Carrs on the 23rd, with scattered singles widespread thereafter and five at Wheldrake Ings on the 29th.


Curlew – Singles were present over Bank Island on the 1st and Wheldrake on the 2nd, followed by six over North Duffield Carrs on the 7th when four went north-west over Melbourne.  Two headed west over Bank Island on the 11th followed by singles on the 12th and 15th.


Redshank – A single immature bird was noted at Wheldrake Ings on the 12th.


Greenshank – A single flew over Wheldrake calling on the 4th.


Green Sandpiper – Eight were present early in the month, present between Bank Island and Wheldrake, with four to five remaining by the 6th. Three were present thereafter with up to two were present from the 15th – 17th, before four reappeared as the pool refilled at Wheldrake on the 20th/21st, with five there on the 22nd. Four were present again on the 24th with one or two daily until month end. Singles were also noted on Skipwith Common NNR and from the Pocklington Canal corridor. 

 
Green Sandpiper - Wheldrake - 23/09 - DB


Wood Sandpiper – A single was present at Wheldrake on the 1st – 3rd, being caught and ringed during wader ringing on the night of the 2nd – only the second to be ringed in the valley.


Common Sandpiper – A single at North Duffield Carrs on the 4th was the only record.


Green Woodpecker – Still present throughout the month on Skipwith Common. A single flew over Thorganby on the 12th.


Barn Owl – Following a poor breeding season there were several, largely nocturnal sightings, around the NNR and wider area during the month.


Long-eared Owl – A single was seen briefly in flight between willows in the reedbed by Swantail Hide, Wheldrake on the 4th.


Skylark – Small numbers were recorded on several days during the month with 237 south on the 15th being the peak count.


Meadow Pipit – Small numbers moved through the valley during the month with 200+ on the 4th, 560+ on the 15th and 400+ on the 21st.


Tree Pipit – A single went south on the 15th over Bank Island.


Yellow Wagtail – Good numbers were present early in the month, moving both overhead and on the ground, with 22 at Wheldrake Ings on the 2nd, 12 at Bubwith on the 6th, 17 at North Duffield Carrs on the 8th and 19 at Wheldrake on the 10th. Small numbers continued to pass over heading south with four on the 28th the last.


Grey Wagtail – Up to four returned to the Bank Island water treatment works during the month and remained throughout. Three were present at Wheldrake on the 4th and 7th with singles over on the 17th and 21st followed by two at Melbourne on the 29th.


Kingfisher – Birds were frequently recorded along the riverside at Bank Island and Wheldrake Ings, the Elvington Lock and the Pocklington Canal near Melbourne. A single was also present at the top pond at North Duffield Carrs on several dates.


Swift – Singles continued to be reported - Thorganby on the 15th, Wheldrake on the 16th and Bank Island on the 26th.


Swallow – Birds were moving overhead most days during the month with 16 recorded heading south on the 29th.


House Martin – A good month with noticeable passage recorded. Over 700 were present on Wheldrake Ings on the 21st with 300 over the Low Grounds the following day, while 11 were still present at Wheldrake on the 29th.


Whinchat –Two at Wheldrake on the 3rd. A single was still present at Wheldrake on the 16th (DB) with the same or another present there on the 22nd/23rd.


Wheatear – A single on Swantail Ings on the 22nd and 23rd.


Jay – As usual numbers recorded on the Ings increased with almost daily sightings, two or three birds were seen at Wheldrake, two at Bank Island and other scattered singles elsewhere as birds began to disperse and wander.


Spotted Flycatcher – A good month for passage birds (and local breeders) started with one at Wheldrake Ings in the car park on the 1st. An adult was accompanied by a fluffy juvenile at Bank Island on the 2nd followed by three there on the 3rd. Up to three were noted early in the month at Skipwith Common NNR, with one or two also seen on several dates near Melbourne on the Pocklington Canal. One at Wheldrake on the 24th was the last in a good month for passage individuals.

 
Spotted Flycatcher - Wheldrake - 01/09 - DB


Sedge Warbler – The last was a single at Wheldrake Ings on the 22nd.


Reed Warbler – The last recorded was a single at Wheldrake on the 23rd.


Common Whitethroat – A single was lingering on Skipwith Common on the 15th.


Blackcap – Several were still present at Bank Island on the 16th with a single caught at Wheldrake on the 17th (MFJ). Two were caught and ringed at the base at Bank Island on the 27th followed by another at Wheldrake on the 30th (MFJ).


Chiffchaff – Up to 13 were present between Bank Island and Wheldrake on the 16th, with seven caught and ringed at Wheldrake on the morning of the 17th (MFJ). 13 were still present on Wheldrake and Bank Island on the 22nd with six at Skipwith Common on the 23rd. Seven were caught and ringed at Wheldrake on the 30th (MFJ).


Raven – A single flew over Skipwith Common, calling, on the 30th.


Nuthatch – One at Wheldrake Ings on the 16th with two there on the 22nd, when another three were present in roadside Oaks between Wheldrake and Thorganby.


Willow Tit – Four were present at Wheldrake on the 16th with up to four also noted along the Pocklington Canal around Melbourne. Three were at Wheldrake on the 22nd.


Marsh Tit – One at Wheldrake Ings on the 30th.


Chaffinch – 120 were present in a post breeding flock near Sutton-upon-Derwent on the 26th.


Siskin – Three flew south at Wheldrake on the 16th – the first of the autumn.


Lesser Redpoll – A single at Wheldrake on the 23rd was the first of the autumn.


Crossbill – Four flew over Bank Island on the 27th (CSR).


Goldfinch – 170 were present on Thorganby Ings on the 13th with 100+ at Wheldrake on the 15th/16th followed by 200+ there on the 27th.


Reed Bunting – Good numbers continued to pass through the site during the month.




MAMMALS:


Brown Hare – Two at Raker Lakes, Wheldrake on the 22nd.


Red Fox – Single at Bank Island on the 22nd.


Roe Deer – Single at Bank Island on the 3rd, followed by two at Raker Lakes, Wheldrake on the 15th and an adult and juvenile at Bank Island on the 22nd.  




BUTTERFLIES:


Red Admiral – Singles at Bank Island on the 1st and 6th, followed by one at Bank Island and Wheldrake on the 16th, and Wheldrake on the 29th.


Comma – Two at Wheldrake on the 1st followed by singles at Bank Island on the 2nd and Wheldrake on the 3rd. Three at Wheldrake on the 16th were followed by singles at Bank Island on the 24th and 29th.


Small Tortoiseshell – Single at Bank Island on the 2nd.


Small Copper – Singles at Wheldrake Ings on the 1st, the reserve base on the 3rd and Wheldrake on the 23rd and 29th.


Speckled Wood – Two at Bank Island on the 1st followed by 17 at Wheldrake on the same day. Two at Bank Island and 4 at Wheldrake on the 2nd, were followed by one at Bank Island, 11 at Wheldrake and 6 at Skipwith Common on the 3rd. Five at Wheldrake on the 14th. Two at Bank Island and 9 at Wheldrake on the 16th, followed by 5 at Wheldrake on the 29th, and one there on the 30th.




DRAGONFLIES:


Southern Hawker – Single at Bank Island and Wheldrake Ings on the 2nd. One at Wheldrake on the 16th.


Migrant Hawker – Single at Wheldrake on the 2nd.  


Common Darter – Ten at Wheldrake on the 1st, with three there on the 14th and two on the 16th. Single on Skipwith Common on the 28th, followed by one at Bank Island on the 29th and a high count of 25 at Wheldrake on the same day. 

No comments:

Post a Comment