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 how we manage the NNR for both wildlife and people.

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Wednesday 21 December 2011

20/12/11 - Duff Rewards

Early this morning Mike & Craig headed to Wheldrake, it was completely frozen & the traps were empty. On to Duffield next and one of the poles for the new whoosh net had fallen over! Meaning they couldn’t take a catch which was frustrating as there were lots of Wigeon milling about on the river infront of the area! The Top Pond was frozen but a Wigeon & Mallard had made their way into the duck trap.

Today whilst working down at Duffield we decided to try the new feeding station which was put in place a few weeks ago. Two nets were put up by the feeders whilst we worked nearby, a good catch was had, 34 birds over a couple of hours, the highlights being a Fieldfare & Great Spotted Woodpecker!

                                            Great Spotted Woodpecker

Total catch:

Blackbird 4
Blue Tit 3
Chaffinch 3
Dunnock 2
Fieldfare 1
Goldfinch 7
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1
Great Tit 1
Greenfinch 8
Reed Bunting 1
Robin 1
Tree Sparrow 2

Tuesday 20 December 2011

19/12/11 - Teal Fest!

The last few days have seen very few Wigeon caught and instead a good number of Teal, 34 since Thursday! These have been mainly from the duck trap at North Duffield and the whoosh net at Wheldrake. 

Today (Monday 19th) Wheldrake & the Top Pond at North Duffield were both frozen again but 5 new Teal were in the duck trap on the Top Pond island. A few photos were taken to show the comparison between the adult and juvenile male birds, although darkness was fast approaching so they’re not the best quality!

Adult male Teal 

The adult male is on the left and the two juvenile birds are middle and right. The adult bird had a very white breast compared to the browny coloured juveniles.

One adult (left) with two young male Teal 

Along with looking at the breast and tails, the feathers on their back (shown below) can separate the adults and juveniles, which still have a lot of brown feathers and are yet to gain their full adult plumage.

Showing the contrast 

There were hundreds of birds on the river so a whoosh net was rigged up this afternoon on the banking, Craig had started to grain it up on Saturday so we hope to get a catch in this week!

At the weekend Mike had a few more birds to add to the totals. Yesterday (Sunday 18th) both Wheldrake & the Top Pond were still frozen over, 3 new Teal were in the duck trap at North Duffield early in the morning, then a check again in the afternoon found another 3 new Teal plus a Mallard & Wigeon.

Saturday (17th) both pools were frozen over so no birds were around although approximately 1500 Wigeon/Teal were on the river. Two more Teal were in the duck trap at North Duffield.
On Friday (16th) Craig & Mike checked Wheldrake early am, lots of birds were on the pool but there was nothing in the area to fire on. A visit to the Top Pond at North Duffield found just the one Teal in the duck trap. Late afternoon Mike, Fal & Lucy headed to Wheldrake to try for a catch, there were hundreds of birds on the pool on arrival (around 4pm), mainly Wigeon and Teal, along with a couple of Pintail and Curlew. A flock of Lapwing dropped in low down, gliding over the whoosh net! Nothing was in the area on arrival but after a 45 minute wait a few Teal made their way up to the grain, so it took awhile but the net was eventually fired just as daylight was fading! Had to extract by torchlight! A catch of 15 Teal, well worth the wait!

Thursday (15th) Craig headed to Wheldrake early am, there was nothing in the area but a few birds on the pool. Moving on from Wheldrake a check of the duck trap at North Duffield found 5 new Teal! Late afternoon (just before dark) Craig & Fal headed back to Wheldrake, hundreds of birds were on the pool including 10 Curlew. After a bit of a wait they eventually fired on a few Canada & 4 Mallards. The geese escaped leaving them with just the 4 ducks to ring!

Thursday 15 December 2011

15/12/11 - December Recoveries

Today we received a couple more recoveries, two Teal, both ringed last year on Skipwith Common.

Teal (EX26592) ringed as a 4F on 02/11/10 on Skipwith Common, recovered on 26/11/11 in Denmark (shot).

Teal (EW65175) ringed as a 4M on 17/10/10 on Skipwith Common, recovered on 14/11/11 near Petworth, West Sussex (found dead).

Wednesday 14 December 2011

13/12/11 - Patience needed...!

Yesterday morning saw an early start at the base, we met at half 7 to allow enough time to get down to Duffield & into position before the majority of the Whooper Swans arrived. The birds started coming in early, by 07.50 the first 10 were on the grain so it was looking good, but gradually went downhill....! As more birds started to arrive they seemed to unsettle each other. They were very flighty and kept taking off in threes and fours, circling the fields and then landing again. Two birds with different darvic rings were spotted, meaning new birds had arrived over night. We believe that the new birds had unsettled the flock which had been there over the last couple of weeks. Also the strong winds meant that instead of feeding on the grain the majority of birds that were in the field had their heads down instead and were sheltering.

We waited patiently until around half past 12 before trying anything, during this time the birds had been to’ing and fro’ing & had been nowhere near the catching area. Also the count had reached 77!

It was decided that we’d have to try something or accept that we might be going home empty handed, and so one of the Landrovers was sent along the edge of the field behind where the birds were. Creeping along slowly resulted in the whole flock taking off and landing back in the field where the net was. Not long after the birds seemed to become more active and found their way onto the grain. Atlast!

When it was believed that approximately 20 birds were in the catching area the decision was taken to fire (around 2pm), however as the day had gone on the wind had increased in speed & so it had become very windy indeed! With the net facing into the wind as it fired it lifted high up into the air and came down so slowly allowing plenty of time for the majority of birds to take off! We caught 5 in the net but 1 escaped leaving us with just 4 birds to ring. Better than no birds though!

                       Chris & Chris with their hands full!

All birds caught were adults and each one was fitted with a darvic ring, in sequence – G5A, G5B, G5C and G5D. Let’s hope these birds make their way back and return again next year! A photograph of each bird was taken with the darvic ring before it was fitted to assist in a study of Whooper Swans which is looking at if they can be identified by individual beak patterns like Bewick Swans. 

                       Whooper Swan G5C

Many thanks to Mark & Robin for providing their expertise & all the gear which allowed the catch to go ahead. The LDV team were also joined by Chris & Eric from the Tees Ringing Group & Chris Blakeley from the EYRG - ringing a Whooper Swan was a new bird for all 3 making it extra special for them!

                                  Chris - very pleased with his new bird! 

After the catch we took the guys on a quick tour of the valley and checked the duck traps, there was a re-trap Wigeon, Mallard & Coot at Duffield and nothing at Wheldrake but hundreds of Wigeon & Teal on the pool. 

A worthwhile day in the end!

Tuesday 13 December 2011

12/12/11 - Start of the freeze...

Saturday morning (10th) Mike headed down to Wheldrake with the hope of a catch only to find it completely frozen! The same was found at the Top Pond at North Duffield so there wasn’t a bird in sight other than 5 new Mallard, 1 Wigeon and 2 new male Pintail(!) in the duck trap, the only bit of water which hadn’t frozen. 25 Whoopers were counted feeding on the grain. 
Male Pintail

Sunday morning (11th) both pools of water were still frozen and the only bird in the duck trap on Wheldrake was a surprise Fieldfare! Mike went down with a couple of buckets to grain up the area for Whoopers and counted 61!

Today (Monday 12th) no birds were in either whoosh net area early in the morning or late afternoon, however 4 Moorhen were in the duck trap on Wheldrake, only one new bird though and 3 re-traps.  

The count of Whoopers reached 69 this afternoon, all were spotted feeding on the grain. We waited until they headed off to roost (around half past 4) and then set the net in the dark! Fingers crossed tomorrow comes off!

Friday 9 December 2011

09/12/11 - A Week's Summary

On Tuesday (6th) we headed down to North Duffield to check on the Whoopers and see if they were feeding on the grain. They were indeed and the flock had increased to 57 birds, including 18 juveniles. There was one bird still present with a darvic but we couldn’t get in the right position to be able to read the full number, various tussocks of grass and ditches were in the way! At the end of the day we drove up to the Top Pond to check the whoosh net area, about 500 Wigeon were present but most of them were on the banking sheltering from the strong winds. We sat it out for a while, a Barn Owl (already ringed) dropped into the area followed by 4 Carrion Crows! The Wigeon milled about in the water infront of the net, gradually coming up in ones and twos. Then with very little daylight left we finally fired on 5 when it looked like no more were going to come!

On Wednesday (7th) Mike went down to North Duffield early in the morning, no birds were in the catching area, but 2 new Teal were in the duck trap. Later the same day Mike returned to try his luck again, about 40 birds were present but with it being so windy they were sheltering on the bank again. There were 30 Whoopers in the field again today so hopefully the planned catch next week will come off!

The net was open at Bank Island for an hour this morning, it was abit blowy but there were lots of Blackbirds and a few Redwing around the car park, we caught 2 Blacki’s which had been feeding on the apples by the net.

Early Thursday morning (8th) saw a catch finally come off at Wheldrake! Despite the net being well trodden into the ground it fired well, catching 11 Wigeon, bringing that to 1000 ducks for the year! There was also 1 Mallard in the duck trap at Duffield.

Craig & Mike headed off before first light for a catch this morning (9th) but there were no ducks on the pond, instead they moved the whoosh net at Wheldrake to a better position - and to where it's less muddy! In the afternoon they had a catch of 8 Wigeon at North Duffield, plus a Teal in the duck trap at Wheldrake.

Monday 5 December 2011

04/12/11 - Ageing Wigeon

On Saturday (3rd) there were no ducks on the pond (again), but 2 Mallard and a Wigeon were in the trap on the island at North Duffield, only a day after re-setting!

Yesterday morning (Sunday 4th) Mike fired on 2 Wigeon at North Duffield, but one took off, leaving just the one in the net! After lunch Craig headed down to see if numbers had built up, none were in the area when he arrived but not long after a few made their way up and he ended up firing on 11 and catching 11!

Here's a few photographs showing how we’re ageing/sexing the birds.

These two birds are both adult females, notice the big broad black tips to the greater coverts and well defined tertials.
Adult female Wigeon

This bird is a juvenile female, notice there's no black tips to the greater coverts, the lesser & medians have buff tips compared to white tips on an adult, and the tertials are diffuse with buff edges.
Juvenile female Wigeon

This is the wing of a juvenile male bird, notice the grey on the inner web of the greater coverts, white on the outer web and there's a lot more white in the wing.

Juvenile male Wigeon

This last photo is from a juvenile bird, notice the notches in some of the tail feathers, the others have already been replaced, once the whole tail is done we will have to rely on the wing to age the bird.

Juvenile tail

Thursday 1 December 2011

01/12/11 - A Grebe? Yes please!

Early this morning we headed back down to Wheldrake to try for Jack Snipe again now we know where they are. We swept the net up & down the field but it wasn’t to be, a few Common got up but not as many as yesterday.

Before lunch we zipped down to Church Bridge, Melbourne after being notified of a pair of Little Grebes that had been frequently seen over the past couple of weeks. On arrival just the one was spotted but after we’d set the net we counted 5! To catch the Little Grebe’s we used a technique Mike had tried on the Isle of Arran to catch Red Throated Divers, it involves attaching a wader net to two poles, then turning it on its side and floating it on to the waters’ surface. We did this & then backed off and watched from the bridge as the Little Grebe’s came back out from the reeds, they were feeding right by our net & sure enough not long after two of them swam over the net & then dived straight into it! Resulting in a very quick sprint down the canal! By the time we got there they were back on the surface sitting in the net, result!!
Extracting the Little Grebe’s by the canal

We caught one adult and one juvenile which was really good to see the difference, both birds were colour ringed (just one colour on each bird - cyan on the juvenile and blue on the adult).

Colour ringing the adult bird

The birds were aged by looking at the wing and body colour, the juvenile had gingery brown tips to the coverts and the body feathers generally had a warmer brown tone. In comparison the adult had no gingery brown tips to its coverts and had more grey on the body feathers. The crown on the adult was more defined compared with the juvenile which was quite diffuse and had warmer tones. 

                                  Juvenile on the left, adult on the right

Juvenile Little Grebe
Almost ready to go!

& they're off!

Wednesday 30 November 2011

November - Summary

The total number of wildfowl caught within the LDV this month = 172

Canada Goose 2
Mallard 13
Moorhen 3
Pintail 2
Shelduck 2
Teal 42
Wigeon 108

The total number of birds caught at Bank Island = 47. The highlight being the Treecreeper on the 16th.

Blackbird 1
Blue Tit 6
Chaffinch 3
Coal Tit 1
Dunnock 1
Great Tit 7
Greenfinch 8
Long Tailed Tit 4
Tree Sparrow 15
Treecreeper 1 


30/11/11 - A shorty drops in!

Following the large numbers of Snipe on the reserve at the moment we tried drag netting again this morning. We headed down to Wheldrake and tried alongside the pool at Swantail, none were flushed so we moved on. The next field was where most of them were hiding, about 20-25 Common Snipe were flushed and 3 Jacks but again we came away empty handed. Just as we’d put the net away a Short Eared Owl flew up from the side of the van where it’d been sitting in the grass, it quickly dropped back down again not far from us. The net was quickly un-tangled and even though it was a long shot we thought we’d try to sweep the net over it, but before we could get there it took off & left us watching as it glided over us, what a fantastic view!

From Wheldrake we headed off to Duffield to cut the Willow’s, on the way we checked the whoosh net, not a bird in the area but a few on the pool. We waited patiently and soon enough the brood of Mute Swans came up, bringing the Wigeon with them. The Mutes eventually went back down leaving the Wigeon for the taking, 12 were in the area but a few not quite on the grain, the net was fired and 9 were caught! A nice little catch - 5 males and 4 females. 

At the end of the day just as it was starting to get dark we decided to have another go for Snipe, we trekked up & down the fields with net, flushing a few Common as we went but no Jack’s, it felt like it was going to be another blank but then just as we were heading back to the van for one last sweep a Common Snipe got off the ground & flew straight up into the net! Not the one we went for but a great result! We colour ringed it too, making it 5 for the year.

As we were driving back across the fields we came across the Short Eared Owl again from this morning! It landed on the ground infront of the van dazzled by the headlights, but not long enough for us to try and catch it! Plenty more Snipe were getting up after dark which has left us thinking of having a go dragging & dazzling during an evening next week instead.

Tuesday 29 November 2011

29/11/11 - Just Rewards

After a very frustrating few days with not catching due to wire snapping, the birds not being in the area, the net not firing properly due to either being trodden into the mud by the birds or being so heavy with water Mike & Craig were finally rewarded with a catch early Sunday morning at North Duffield – 11 Wigeon!

Later the same day Mike went back to try his luck again and came away with 3 more Wigeon.

This morning (Tuesday 29th) North Duffield produced another catch - this time 8 Mallard and 2 Wigeon. This brings the wildfowl total to 956 for the year.

Later this afternoon Craig headed down to North Duffield to bait up the area for the Whooper Swans with the view of taking a catch next week. 35 were present including 1 with a darvic which isn't believed to be one of our previous returning birds. Also with the Whoopers were 3 Bewick's & 30 Tundra Beans.

                               Whooper Swans at North Duffield Carrs

22/11/11 - Wigeon.. Teal.. Mallard.. PINTAIL!

A few more birds to be added to the years total!

This morning (Tuesday 22nd) another worthwhile hour was spent at Wheldrake - 4 Wigeon, 4 Mallard and 1 Teal. Also present at Wheldrake this morning was approximately 130 Common Snipe and 5 Jacks, hopefully we’ll be able to fit a catch in soon!

Yesterday (Monday 21st) - after an early start to check the whoosh net our SRM was rewarded with a pair of Pintail! Unfortunately no one else was there to see them! Later the same day just before it got dark Craig & Steve went off to check the catching area at North Duff – another 27 Wigeon! Result!

Sunday 20th - a check of the whoosh net at Duffield this afternoon resulted in Mike bagging another 4 Wigeon, 3 Teal and 2 Moorhen.

Saturday 19th - Mike spent a couple of hours this morning trying out the new feeding station at Thornton Ellers and came away with 41 new birds, 36 of which were Lesser Redpoll!

A very good few days! Total birds ringed - 47 wildfowl + 41 passerines = 88.

Friday 18 November 2011

18/11/11 - A visit to Forge

The first visit of the year to Forge Valley took place today, we went with a view to doing some work there over the winter months and during lunch we put a net up for an hour and had a very good catch of 58 birds! Including 6 Nuthatch (3 new, 3 re-traps) and 8 new Marsh Tits.

Marsh Tit


What a pair!

Total birds caught = 53 (5)

Blue Tit 10
Chaffinch 10
Coal Tit 12 (2)
Great Tit 9
Marsh Tit 8
Nuthatch 3 (3)
Siskin 1

Wednesday 16 November 2011

16/11/11 - Just keep ducking

This morning Craig & Mike headed down to Wheldrake at first light with the hope of getting another successful catch at the whoosh net, there were hundreds of birds on the pool but not many in the catching area. They came away with 4 Wigeon and 1 Mallard.

From Wheldrake we then headed to North Duffield to try our luck there, no birds were in the area at first but not long after a few Wigeon started heading for the catching area. 8 birds made their way up to the grain but as the net fired 5 took off leaving us with 3 new birds to ring, 2 adult males and an adult female. Also, the duck trap continues to be successful with 4 new Teal, all female.

Female Teal

Mike & Craig comparing Teal

Out of interest this is as it stands today for the total number of wildfowl caught on the reserve since January = 865.

Canada Goose 16
Coot 6
Cormorant 6
Gadwall 7
Greylag Goose 80
Little Grebe 1
Mallard 328
Moorhen 17
Mute Swan 13
Shelduck 59
Shoveler 9
Teal 187
Tufted Duck 1
Whooper Swan 1
Wigeon 134

Tuesday 15 November 2011

15/11/11 - They just keep coming!

A catch at both sites again today - 12 Wigeon and 2 Shelduck were caught at Wheldrake. Then a trip to North Duffield resulted in 12 Teal and 1 Wigeon in the duck trap.

The catches today bring the years totals to: 

Shelduck 59
Teal 138
Wigeon 127

& a total of 820 wildfowl ringed on the reserve since January!

Sunday 13 November 2011

13/11/11 - Three in three!

On Friday (11th) a visit to both whoosh nets brought two catches, the first a very early start at Wheldrake, getting there at first light and coming away with 2 Canada & 1 Wigeon. A late afternoon catch at North Duffield was far more rewarding - 12 Wigeon.

Saturday morning (12th) saw a catch at North Duffield - 7 Wigeon & 6 Teal.

Sunday (13th) another catch was had, 8 Wigeon at North Duffield plus 5 Teal in the duck trap.

A very good three days with 41 birds ringed!

Wednesday 9 November 2011

09/11/11 - Thrush Roost

After cutting the lanes last week and repeatedly seeing hundreds of thrushes using the area we tried a thrush roost late afternoon today. Upon arrival the trees were filled with Blackbirds, Fieldfares and a few Redwing. All day big flocks had been going over & so we thought we were onto a winner! 5 nets were set up within the Hawthorn/Blackthorn scrub and two 60 foot nets along the banking in-between two Hawthorn bushes.

Just after setting up a tit flock dropped in, mainly Long Tails and a few Great Tits/Blue Tit. It was a slow start thrush wise with just one Blackbird but as darkness started to approach more Blackbirds came in to roost, however the Fieldfares stayed high. We ended with a catch of 28 birds including a Redwing & so it was worth doing!

Total birds caught = 27 (1)

Blackbird 11
Blue Tit (1)
Dunnock 1
Goldcrest 1
Great Tit 2
Long Tailed Tit 9
Redwing 1
Tree Sparrow 1
Wren 1

Tuesday 8 November 2011

08/11/11 - November Recoveries

Today we received the latest batch of recoveries, some interesting ones in particular two Sedge Warblers & a Redshank to France, and a Teal to Finland.

Barn Owl (AJ59432), ringed as a 1 on 10/06/07 on Moor Farm, Riccall, Selby, recovered as a 6F on 19/05/11 in Stub Wood, Acaster Malbis, York.

Black-headed Gull (ET53810), ringed as a 1 on 31/05/03 on Thorne Moor, recovered as a 6 on 01/01/11 at Amble Harbour, Northumberland (field recording).

Redshank (DB88181), ringed as a 6 on 29/03/03 on Aughton Ings, recovered on 19/10/10 at the Bay of Morlaix, France (dead).

Reed Warbler (T031773), ringed as a 4 on 24/06/07 at Wheldrake Ings, recovered on 24/07/10 at Crabley Farm Creek, East Riding of Yorkshire.

Reed Warbler (X685999), ringed as a 3J on 05/08/10 at Wheldrake Ings, recovered as a 3 on 25/08/10 at Cauldwell Hall Farm, Hollesley, Suffolk.

Sedge Warbler (X437129), ringed as a 3J on 21/08/09 at Wheldrake Ings, recovered as a 4 on 26/08/10 in Paris, France.

Sedge Warbler (L018382), ringed as a 3 on 16/08/10 in Icklesham, East Sussex, recovered as a 4 on 24/04/11 on Wheldrake Ings.

Sedge Warbler (L751812), ringed as a 4M on 12/05/11 at Wheldrake Ings, re-trapped on 22/07/2011 and then controlled on 10/08/11 in Paris, France.

Teal (EL49846), ringed as a 4F on 12/11/07 on Skipwith Common, recovered on 27/08/09 in Finland (shot).

Wigeon (FA51531), ringed as a 3M on 04/12/04 at North Duffield, recovered on 01/01/11 near Long Sutton, Somerset (shot).

Wednesday 2 November 2011

02/11/11 - Up up & away!

A good day bird wise round the valley, whilst to’ing & fro’ing between different jobs/places today over 10 Kestrels were seen. Also, good movements of thrushes, mainly Fieldfares and large flocks of Golden Plover went over North Duffield around noon.

A new feeding station was set up today at North Duffield, and after seeing hundreds of Fieldfares and Blackbirds in the Blackthorn/Hawthorn/Bramble scrub at the side of Top Pond lanes were cut in preparation for trying a roost next week.

The whoosh net was checked whilst we were down there, a few Wigeon were in the catching area & many many more on the pond, but as we were waiting/hoping for a few more to join something spooked them & they all took off!

Tuesday 1 November 2011

01/11/11 - No ducks, no grain, no chance!

Another attempt was made today to drag net Snipe on Wheldrake, nothing was caught again and even less were seen...we only flushed two Common.

After finishing work at North Duffield this afternoon we tried for a catch of Wigeon in the whoosh net, a few were on the pond but nothing in the area...nevermind! We went up to re-set the net and scattered more grain, yesterdays bucket load had been completely hoovered up! 

Just as we were heading back over the bank we spotted two Barn Owls hunting at dusk which is always good to see.

Monday 31 October 2011

October - Summary

The total number of wildfowl caught within the LDV this month = 93

Mallard 12
Moorhen 3
Teal 32
Wigeon 46

The odd hour spent ringing before work at the office resulted in 65 birds caught at Bank Island this month.

Blue Tit 8
Chaffinch 4
Dunnock 2
Goldcrest 1
Goldfinch 3
Great Spotted Woodpecker 2
Great Tit 5
Greenfinch 9
Long Tailed Tit 4
Robin 3
Tree Sparrow 23
Treecreeper 1

Sunday 30 October 2011

30/10/11 - Three Owls & a Grebe!

Today Jean Thorpe brought in a treat in the form of a Little Grebe! It had been found in Bridlington on a road. Jean looked after it for a few days and then brought it in to ring & release in the valley. Two colour rings were attached along with the BTO metal ring. It was released in the valley at Wheldrake Ings. Jean also brought in two Barn Owls and a Tawny Owl which were almost ready to head back into the wild.

Juvenile Little Grebe after colour ringing

Recovering at Ryedale

Steve ringing one of the Barn Owls

Saturday 29 October 2011

29/10/11 - Slowly does it

A whoosh net attempt at North Duffield today resulted in a small catch of Wigeon (9), 2 adults, 7 juv’s, 7 males and 2 females. The small catches are adding up!

                      Adult male Wigeon

Wednesday 26 October 2011

26/10/11 - October Recoveries

A few recoveries received today, two more Wigeon to Russia and two Mutes identified by the colour rings.

Mute Swan (Z84393), ringed as a 1 male on 08/08/98 at Derwent Ings, recovered 26/08/02 on Hornsea Mere (identified by darvic).

Mute Swan (W00243), ringed as a 1 female on 26/07/03 at North Duffield, recovered on 12/06/04 on Hornsea Mere (identified by darvic).

Teal (EL99885), ringed as a 4M on 18/10/08 at Wheldrake Ings, recovered 08/01/11 at Round Close Wood, near Haverthwaite, Cumbria (shot).

Wigeon (FH02692), ringed as a 3 on 10/11/06 at North Duffield, recovered on 29/10/11 at Ellerker, Brough (shot).

Wigeon (FH10123), ringed as a 3 on 23/10/07 at North Duffield, recovered on 01/01/10 in Solotcha, Russia (shot).

Tuesday 25 October 2011

25/10/11 - A good catch atlast!

This morning Jean Thorpe brought in 3 Mute Swans which were ready to ring and release after being cared for. All three swans were released on the river at North Duffield and took off well, another good job Jean!

 Waiting to be ringed

Tricky rings, our SRM showing how it’s done

After releasing the swans we checked the whoosh net at North Duffield, 21 Wigeon were in the catching area and lots more on the pond. After losing out on the last two goes (18th/19th when just as we were about to fire the birds took off both times!) the net was promptly fired & all 21 caught! The biggest catch yet for the autumn. It was a mixed catch of males (4), females (17), 12 adults and 9 juveniles. This brings the total to 35 for the year and 1650 for all time!

21 Wigeon!
Steve with his hands full!

Adult male Wigeon (eclipse)

Monday 17 October 2011

17/10/11 - Trying for a Jack or two...

We tried drag netting for Snipe again at Wheldrake today, none were caught, however atleast 1 Jack was flushed this time and 12 Common. In comparison to last weeks’ attempt (07/10/11) when none were caught and no Jack's seen but 16 Common were flushed.

Here are a couple of snaps from last autumn (Oct/Nov) - 14 Jack Snipe were ringed on 4 attempts over 3 days!

Friday 7 October 2011

07/10/11 - Great Spots!

On Wednesday the net was open at Bank Island for an hour before we started work, it was blowing a gale and only one bird was caught – but it was a goody – a lovely young female Great Spotted Woodpecker! Then this morning as we went to do a round expecting a few finches an adult male Great Spot was swinging in the net! We also had the first Goldcrest for the autumn.

                                         Adult male G.S.Woodpecker

Juvenile male Goldcrest

Saturday 1 October 2011

01/10/11 - First Wigeon for the autumn!

This morning the first Wigeon (8) of the autumn were caught in the whoosh net at Wheldrake and another go early evening also brought a catch of 10 Teal!

Total birds caught today = 19

Moorhen 1
Teal 10
Wigeon 8