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

Nov' 18

Lower Derwent Valley NNR - November Sightings


Just as October had finished, November started largely dry with only a small build up in wintering waterfowl noted, however the pace quickened a little from mid-month and higher river levels finally allowed some water to be let onto Bank Island on the 20th which resulted in an almost immediate upturn in species and counts. 

Notable records included three Knot over Wheldrake Ings on the 11th, although these were rather over shadowed by the report from a walker of a Little Auk on the river by the Bailey Bridge at Wheldrake on the 9th. This represents the fifth reserve record of a Little Auk in the valley, although the first since 1998, so local birders may be in for a long wait for the next. A Common Crane appeared at Thornton Ellers on the 25th whilst a Great White Egret lingered in the wider area (reported on the 9th and 19th). Perhaps more notable, or at least scarcer in the valley in terms of recent years, was a ringtail Hen Harrier passing over Bank Island on the 14th, whilst the ever-present Marsh Harriers continued to be seen during the month. 

The resident Whooper Swan herd built up to 81 whilst c1000 Greylag Geese suddenly reappeared with the rising water levels. In contrast to last month, a meager total of Pink-footed Geese were recorded, with just 40 birds logged. Other maximum counts included 4000+ Wigeon, 3000+ Teal and smaller numbers of Gadwall, Pintail and Shoveler as a result of the flooding on Bank Island, whilst a lone red-head Goosander was spotted on the river. Wader numbers also increased with peaks of 1300 Lapwing and 1250 Golden Plover, with the first returning Woodcock on the Ings on the 4th, two Dunlin (18th) and 18 Ruff (24th). Redshank numbers increased from 3 to 21 throughout the site, with 12 Curlew also present late in the month. At least one Green Sandpiper remained, possibly set to winter here, whilst four appeared on the scrape at Swantail on the 23rd. Winter passerines included two or three Stonechats in the Wheldrake area, two Nuthatch in Melbourne, where numbers of Siskin and Lesser Redpoll increased around the canal side Alders. A noticeable arrival of Fieldfare took place from the 20th whilst wintering Chiffchaff (15th) and Blackcap (17th) were found in the area. 

Many thanks as always to everyone who has contributed records throughout the month, and to Duncan and Terry for the use of their photographs (credited DB/TW). 
 

BIRDS: 

Mute Swan – Numbers slowly increased with returning non-breeders from the summer moult site with 87 recorded throughout the site on the 25th.  

Whooper Swan – Numbers increased early in the month with 68 (28 immatures) present at Ellerton by the 17th, including colour-ringed adults G5F and C3S. 81 were recorded on the 18th followed by a count of 70 throughout the valley on the 25th

 Whooper Swans - North Duffield

Greylag Goose – 450 came into roost at Wheldrake on the 15th with 750 there on the 21st. 500+ were present at Thornton Ellers on the 26th when an estimated 1000+ were present throughout the valley.

Pink-footed Goose – Seven flew over Melbourne on the 12th. 33 flew south over Bank Island on the 25th before one flew north over Wheldrake a short while later.

Canada Goose – Monthly maxima of 213 on the 25th.

Egyptian Goose – Two flew over Wheldrake on the 25th – presumably one of the regular breeding pairs from East Cottingwith.

Wigeon – Numbers finally increased despite the dry conditions with c3000 on the river between East Cottingwith and Ellerton on the 17th. Higher river levels and flooding at Bank Island brought an increase in numbers with 4000+ throughout on the 25th

 Wigeon - Bank Island

Teal – 2000+ were present throughout the valley on the 17th with 3000+ on the 25th.

Mallard – An estimated 700+ were present in the wider valley during the month.

Pintail – A single female was present with a flock of Wigeon on the river at North Duffield Carrs on the 20th, joined by a drake at Bank Island on the 23rd. 11 were present throughout the site on the 
25th.

Gadwall – 20 were present across the site on the 17th.

Shoveler – Following the first flooding on Bank Island, a single appeared on the 23rd, with five present there by the 25th.

Goldeneye – A single adult drake on the river at North Duffield Carrs on the 30th was the first returning bird of the autumn – a late occurrence due to the previously dry conditions.

Goosander – One red head was recorded on the river at North Duffield Carrs on the 19th.

Grey Heron – Widespread along the Pocklington Canal and ditch network of Melbourne and Thornton Ings during the month, with 14 counted throughout the site on the 25th.  

Great White Egret – A single flew over Bank Island on the 9th heading towards Wheldrake Ings – possibly the same bird seen at Castle Howard earlier in the day (CSR). What was presumably the same lingering bird was present by the Pocklington Canal near Storwood on the 19th (AS).

Little Egret – A single was present near Melbourne on the 2nd while another pitched in briefly at Bank Island on the 5th with four in arable fields near Pool Bridge Farm, Crockey Hill on the 7th. A single was then present at Bank Island on the 11th with one at Thornton Ellers on the 25th. Two were noted feeding in shallow flooding at Thornton Ings on the 30th.

Common Crane – A single was present at Thornton Ellers on the 25th before flying towards Hagg Bridge (CSR, MS).

Hen Harrier – A single flew over Bank Island on the afternoon of the 14th heading towards Wheldrake (CSR).

Marsh Harrier – Cream crowned individuals were present at North Duffield Carrs on the 13th, Bank Island on the 14th and North Duffield Carrs again on the 19th and 20th. A single was present at Thorganby/East Cottingwith on the 25th to month end with one also at Bank Island on the 26th.

Peregrine – A small adult male seen flying over Skipwith heading towards North Duffield on the 20th was followed by two males and a female near Melbourne on the 30th.

Water Rail – Two calling birds were still present at Wheldrake in the reedbed early in the month, with at least one calling bird heard by the Pocklington Canal, Melbourne. Four were calling from the Swantail reedbed on the 15th with two calling birds present at Thornton Ellers on the 25th.

Golden Plover – c250 were present at Wheldrake on the 6th with small flocks reported regularly throughout the wider area thereafter, with 120 at North Duffield Carrs on the 9th. The latter flock then increased with 1000+ seen there on the 17th. 500+ were present in the Bank Island/Wheldrake area on the 25th.

 Golden Plover/Lapwing - North Duffield

Avocet – One was present on private ponds adjacent to Thorganby Ings on the 27th – 30th (PC) – the first ‘winter’ record.

Lapwing – 400+ were present at North Duffield Carrs on the 9th with 1000+ there on the 17th, when a total of 1300 were recorded throughout the site. 2300 were then present in the Bank Island/Wheldrake area on the 30th.

Knot – Three flew south at Wheldrake on the 11th (DB).

Jack Snipe – A single was flushed during management works at Skipwith Common NNR on the 15th (NC).

Woodcock – The first returning bird was back at Wheldrake Ings on the 4th.

Dunlin – Two were present at Wheldrake on the 18th.

Ruff – Following the flooding at Bank Island 18 appeared on the 24th with 19 present the following day.

 Ruff - Bank Island - DB

Curlew – Nine roosted daily on the pool at Wheldrake from the 1st with 12 seen there on the 25th.

Redshank – Presumably the three same wintering birds were reported regularly at Wheldrake early in the month and at Thorganby river bank on the 17th. Numbers started to increase following a rise in river levels and some shallow flooding, with 21 present throughout the site on the 25th.

Green Sandpiper – A single was still at Bank Island on the 1st and 9th with one at Bank Island and Wheldrake on the 19th. Four were present on Swantail Ings, Wheldrake on the 24th with one there next day.

Little Auk – A single was videoed by a local walker on the River Derwent at Wheldrake Ings on the 9th - a great record (the fifth for the reserve and the first since 1998).

Tawny Owl – Six were calling after dark at Wheldrake Ings on the 4th.

Kingfisher – Regular along the Pocklington Canal near Melbourne throughout the month.

Meadow Pipit – c50 were present at Wheldrake Ings at roost on the 15th.

Pied Wagtail – c40 were seen at Wheldrake Ings at roost on the 15th.

Grey Wagtail – Three were present at the reserve base throughout the month.  

Stonechat – Two to three birds were present daily at Wheldrake Ings throughout the month.

Fieldfare – A further arrival took place from the 20th with 500 present around Bank Island and Wheldrake on the 23rd along with 300 at North Duffield, 200 at Thornton Ellers and 130 at Hagg Bridge on the 25th

 Fieldfare - NNR Base - TW

Jay – Fairly obvious in singles throughout the month around the valley, with a group of four present on Seavy Carr on the 5th.

Chiffchaff – A single was present in a mixed tit flock at Wheldrake Ings, in the reedbed area on the 15th.

Blackcap – A single was present near Dunnington on the 17th.

Nuthatch Two were present near Melbourne on the Pocklington Canal on the 14th.

Willow Tit – Present during the month at Melbourne.

Lesser Redpoll – 42 were present in canal side Alders at Melbourne on the 2nd with 40+ remaining at month end.  

Siskin – 140 were present in canal side Alders in the Melbourne area on the 16th.

Tree Sparrow – 50+ were present at the reserve base feeding station throughout the month with 20 at Melbourne on the 12th.

Reed Bunting – 100+ were still present at the Wheldrake Ings Swantail reed bed roost on the 15th.


MAMMALS:

Brown Hare – One at North Duffield Carrs on the 13th.

Red Fox – One at Bank Island on the 9th.

Roe Deer – Four at Bank Island on the 12th.


BUTTERFLIES:

Speckled Wood – Several were still present on the wing around the reserve on the 9th.

Small Copper – Singles were present at Bank Island and North Duffield Carrs on the 9th, with late individuals recorded at Wheldrake and Thorganby on the 22nd.


DRAGONFLIES:

Common Darter – Still present on mild days during the month with seven on Skipwith Common on the 15th.  

No comments:

Post a Comment