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 19 September 2018

12/09/18 - Wader ringing

With the dry conditions and dwindling water levels around the reserve over the last month, the ringing team have been able to take advantage of the conditions and the opportunity to catch and ring some passage waders. With little inland wader ringing taking place across the country some of the results from the valley add significant numbers to the national totals and data set. Using wader nets set during the hours of darkness, the team have managed to catch 26 Common Snipe, 17 Green Sandpiper, a single Wood Sandpiper and Little Ringed Plover, as well as 7 Teal and 2 Mallards over the last month. 

The sandpiper totals are particularly noteworthy – 17 Green Sandpipers represents about 25-35% of the annual UK ringing totals, whilst only around 4 or 5 Wood Sandpipers are ringed in the UK each year. Likewise, the annual ringing totals for snipe average around 400, so another 26 from the valley will hopefully add further to our knowledge of these birds and how they use the valley throughout the year. It’s likely that will be it now for wader ringing this year, as the last remaining pools look set to dry up any day now, which will see ‘our’ sandpipers head further south, into Europe and Northern Africa for the winter.

Wood Sandpiper

Monday 17 September 2018

10/09/18 - Signs, hides, logs

Last week we had another great day working with our ever-growing band of volunteers. After introducing new team member Tim to the group, as well as welcoming back Dave, the team got to work on a range of tasks. First off several of the team put in the new way marker posts between Bank Island/Wheldrake and alongside the riverside path - all part of the visitor improvements works that have been slowly transforming the site this summer and autumn. These posts way mark the routes to different parts of the reserve, including the hides and the distances between them. 

Another group made a few more upgrades to Tower Hide at Wheldrake in preparation for the new interpretation panels, whilst Sandra cut the paths to the Bank Island hides and along the riverside path to the Wheldrake car park. 

As well as all that the team even managed to split another 8 cubic meters of logs to stack away ready for the spring – filling up the space recently freed up in the wood sheds as the orders start to pick up the pace. Many thanks to the team for their great efforts as usual – and to everyone who has ordered recently helping us to refill and keep up with demand through the winter and into next year.


Thursday 6 September 2018

25/08/18 - Amey return

Last week we were delighted to welcome back our friends from the York branch of Amey for their annual corporate volunteering trip to the valley. With 12 eager and willing sets of hands, the team, helped out and guided by Nick and Sandra, swiftly got to work helping out the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust deliver an upgrade to the track to both Pool and Swantail Hides at Wheldrake Ings. Around 5 tonnes of stone was moved via the mule and wheelbarrow, along with plenty of shovelling to fill in a missing piece of path, whilst others in the team helped unearth and resurface parts of the existing track. 

This work means that visitors to the site will now have an easier visit to the NNR, without the need to wade through the water and mud to visit the hides in the winter, and follows the first stage of upgrading the riverside track to Tower Hide earlier in the summer. The team even found time to help coppice some of the willows surrounding the track to help keep it from overgrowing quite so quickly. Many thanks to everyone for their efforts during the day - we’re looking forward to next year already. If your company or team are looking for a day out in pleasant surroundings, and fancy doing a bit of conservation work then please get in touch.