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

Friday 8 November 2019

26/10/19 - Otter update

Following our two recent posts concerning the soft release of two Otters on the reserve, we can now share the news that they have been successfully released back into the wild. After a week exploring the large pen that we had built for them on the reserve, the surrounding fencing was partially removed, giving the two animals free range to come and go. Using a trail camera, we were able to follow their movements, which told us they left the pen during the day, but returned on a night for the first week or so, and could be seen enjoying the supplementary fish provided to ease their transition. 

After those first few days their return visits to the release area became less frequent, but supplementary fish provided at key Otter locations around the wider site were still taken. Eventually they stopped returning to the pen, presumably having dispersed further afield having now fully adjusted to the wild and finding food of their own. A week later we received records of two individuals seen in the river at North Duffield, with another observed from Ellerton Landing. Many thanks to all involved for their efforts in what has been another successful re-introduction back to the wild, and particularly to Jean and Rob, and the team from the RSPCA.

Wednesday 6 November 2019

24/10/19 - Corporate tasks

It's been a busy few months on the NNR with our corporate tasks (regular readers of our page will know that each year we host numerous corporate volunteering groups), with companies and organisations such as Nestle, Aviva, HSBC, Lloyds, Barclays, Amey, HSE and Defra all supporting their staff to take two or three volunteering days a year as part of their staff development. This represents a huge boost to the amount of work we can undertake on the reserve for the benefit of our wildlife and visitors a like – whether that’s scrub clearance, weed control, hide maintenance, footpath and hibernacula construction, planting reeds, fencing or chopping logs to help generate income for our charitable trust - the Friends of the Lower Derwent Valley.  

At the end of the summer we were delighted to welcome our partners from the Environment Agency, who came to the LDV armed with a large team and made a huge impact in helping to clear willow scrub from the Wheldrake reed beds – not only making it better for a host of wildlife and helping to maintain the large wide open views and landscape, but also helping to increase the flood water storage and gradual release capability of the site – which for the flood risk team helped bring some of their work to life as well as highlighting some of the natural environment benefits to be had. 

During lunch we also checked the contents of the moth trap and caught a few birds during a ringing demonstration at the base, including a Goldcrest, Treecreeper and several Blackcaps. Many thanks to everyone involved for their efforts during the task and supporting the work we do. 

Following help from the Environment Agency staff, we were then delighted to welcome two teams from TSYS, who spent the day helping us to process timber for our winter log supply, along with helping to clear scrub on Skipwith Common NNR. Many thanks to Phill and his colleagues for really getting stuck in - looking forward to welcoming you back to the reserve for another day next year.

Natural England and Defra then both brought two teams to the NNR for task days in October - with staff helping towards the scrub clearance habitat management programme on Wheldrake Ings and Skipwith Common NNR. Many thanks to John and his colleagues for their efforts. If you work for a company that offers corporate volunteering and would like to get involved on the NNR then please feel free to get in touch.