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.

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

Wednesday 31 August 2011

31/08/11 - August Recoveries

A few recoveries received today,a Cormorant to Wrexham and three more ducks to Russia!

Cormorant (5231912), ringed as a 1 on 14/04/03 at Wheldrake Ings, recovered on 03/07/11 in Wrexham (found dead).

Gadwall (FP97675), ringed as a 1 on 03/07/06 at Wheldrake Ings, recovered on 23/05/11 in Russia (shot).

Teal (EL99788), ringed as a 4M on 12/12/08 at North Duffield, recovered on 29/04/11 in Russia (shot).

Wigeon (FH10005), ringed as a 6M on 10/02/07 at North Duffield, recovered on 28/05/11 in Russia (shot).

Tuesday 30 August 2011

August - Summary

The total number of wildfowl caught within the LDV this month = 80

Gadwall 1
Mallard 57
Moorhen 6
Teal 15
Tufted Duck 1

Friday 26 August 2011

26/08/11 - Rained off!

Late yesterday afternoon eighteen Whinchats were counted on the fence posts around North Duffield, and so an attempt was made this morning, however not long after the spring traps were set rain started to fall which turned into a heavy downpour, unsurprisingly no birds were caught! However the new duck trap which was put in only yesterday had already caught with two Mallards in residence!

Two Little Egrets were still present at Bank Island, and the first Turnstone of the autumn was reported at Wheldrake. Seen from Pool Hide today were increasing numbers of Teal, a large flock of Lapwing, Little Grebe, Tufted Duck & young with one Ring Necked Duck in tow, and a juvenile Marsh Harrier – just outside of the whoosh net catching area!

Thursday 25 August 2011

25/08/11 - Pool Hide/North Duffield Carrs

Following the increasing number of ducks around Pool Hide, in particular Teal, a whoosh net was set up this morning on the spit. Whilst doing so the first Wigeon for the autumn flew overhead and later landed on the water. After setting the whoosh net the duck trap on the island at Wheldrake was checked, one young un-ringed Moorhen was present. High numbers of Moorhen are ringed on the reserve each year but very few are re-sighted, numbers of Moorhen around Pool Hide are high at the moment with 17 counted on the spit last night.

Along with the whoosh net at North Duffield this afternoon a new duck trap was installed on the island. Numbers of Mallard at the Top Pond are continuing to build with approximately 60 present today. Most of the grain from inside the whoosh net catching area has gone and so it hopefully won’t be long before we take the first catch.

A good day raptor wise around North Duffield: several young Kestrels were seen flying low across the river bank, a female Sparrowhawk was perched on a fence post, two Marsh Harriers soaring, a Buzzard calling and on the way back fantastic views of a Red Kite flying low over Thorganby.

Friday 19 August 2011

19/08/11 - Whinchats & Swans!

Yesterday the first Whinchat for the autumn was recorded at North Duffield, and so this morning we headed down there with spring traps to try and locate it and to see if it had been joined by any others. Eight birds were thought to be present, four spring traps were set and not long after a Whinchat was caught!

                                          Juvenile female Whinchat

After the brood of Mute Swans were caught last week at North Duffield it was decided to try for the three young cygnets at Pool Hide. The birds were caught with ease compared to last week! They followed the adults into the reeds where they could then be lifted out of the water, the adult male was also caught but the female (un-ringed) made a quick getaway through the reeds! 

                               Steve & Mike ringing the cygnets at Pool Hide

Safely back in the water!

Thursday 18 August 2011

18/08/11 - A Quiet One

Following last weeks’ very quiet roost it was decided that one last attempt would be had, nets were set up along the boardwalk leading up to the hide, the end result being fewer birds than last time! Bird activity in general was very quiet on arrival, however ten Snipe dropped into the pool infront of Swantail Hide, typical when no wader nets had been set! Nevertheless a good record as not many Snipe have been seen lately around the reserve.

Total for the night = 16

Bullfinch 2
Linnet 1
Reed Bunting 4
Reed Warbler 3
Sedge Warbler 3
Whitethroat 2
Wren 1

Monday 15 August 2011

15/08/11 - Ducking & diving

A whoosh net was set up today at North Duffield following the large numbers of Mallard now present on the Top Pond. Beforehand the brood of Tufted Ducks that have eluded us for the last couple of weeks were paddling amongst the reeds when we arrived, a net was quickly set up along the far side from the island to the banking, three young and the adult female were present. Today must have been our lucky day as one of the young swam straight into the net! Making it the first one to be caught on the reserve this year.


Juvenile Tufted Duck

Thursday 11 August 2011

11/08/11 - An evening at Swantail

After starting off quite promising it was a quiet evening down at Swantail Hide. There was a lot of Hirundine activity shortly after we arrived, but then not long after the nets were opened the birds disappeared! As well as in the reed bed nets were also positioned along the boardwalk for the warblers coming into roost.

Total for the night = 27

Chiffchaff 1
Pied Wagtail 1
Reed Bunting 7
Reed Warbler 2 
Sedge Warbler 16

Jean came armed with more birds tonight that were ready to leave her and head back into the wild, 7 Mallard and 4 Sparrowhawks - three young birds (two female, one male), and a very feisty adult female! Also, the three Tawny Owls that Jean brought in (18/07/11) were released this week in the woods at Birdsall. 

                              ‘Birds without webbed feet - no thanks!’

Friday 5 August 2011

05/08/11 - Swan Round-Up

This morning an attempt was made to try and catch and ring the brood of Mute Swans that have been on the Top Pond at North Duffield for the past week or so. With the aid of two canoes and two people in chest waders four of the six cygnets were caught! 

Getting ready!

Trying to lure the adults

                                         Mike showing us how it's done

Very awkward rings....
Waiting patiently!

Thursday 4 August 2011

04/08/11 - Not one but two!

Following last weeks’ Swallow roost at Swantail another attempt was made, with more nets this time, including a few for the Reed Buntings infront of Tower Hide. Also, in the hope of catching the Green Sandpipers that have been around for the last four weeks a line of nets were erected across the pool infront of Swantail Hide. Numbers of Swallows were down on last week, which was thought to be due possibly to the weather, it was a much a cooler night with showers on and off. In the reed bed at Tower Hide numbers of Reed Buntings and warblers were also very low, it is thought that next time a different location will be used as it’s believed the birds have now moved on.

The treat for the night came in the form of not one but two Green Sandpipers! Both birds were found swinging in the nets which had been put up especially for them across the mud nearest the hide at Swantail, one adult and one juvenile.

Total for the night = 36

Green Sandpiper 2
Mallard 2
Reed Bunting 11                              
Reed Warbler 3
Sedge Warbler 3
Swallow 14 
Whitethroat 1

Also, Jean had been looking after a Sparrowhawk and Kestrel which were now ready to ring and release. Both were young birds, a very small male Sparrowhawk and female Kestrel.

Monday 1 August 2011

01/08/11 - Another Gad to be had!

Another attempt at the brood of Gadwall and Tufted Ducks on the Top Pond at North Duffield was had and resulted in a single juvenile Gadwall and a re-trap Moorhen, believed to be a bird not initially ringed on the reserve. The Tufted Ducks hid amongst the reeds again, maybe next time!

Juvenile Gadwall
Looking for notches on the tail