We've just found out, rather belatedly, that a White-tailed
Eagle passed through the Lower Derwent Valley NNR during the summer. With its
presence going undetected, we would have been none the wiser had it not been
for the satellite tracker that it was wearing - this individual was one of the
birds re-introduced last summer on the Isle of Wight. After roaming around the
local area over there last autumn, this bird, along with another individual,
headed north and spent several weeks around the North York Moors, before
heading south down the River Derwent, reaching Ellerton by 4pm on the 19th
July. It appeared to have roosted locally, before heading off south the
following morning at 10am, passing to the east of Doncaster an hour later. By
1pm it had flown 60 miles and was skirting around the east side of
Newark-upon-Trent in Nottinghamshire, before roosting at Belvoir Castle in
north-east Leicestershire that evening. It then continued southwards and is now
currently in Norfolk. This follows two sightings in late March of an un-tagged,
presumed continental bird which was seen by a handful of observers in the LDV.
Thanks to Clive Featherstone for the use of his image (WTE and Common Buzzard)
– taken in Doncaster in March.
During lockdown Jean Thorpe of Ryedale Rehabilitation was been busy continuing her great work as usual – caring for raptors as well as all sorts of injured
or orphaned wildlife, and victims of wildlife crime - successfully releasing many
back into the wild. As well as the usual crèche of Mallard ducklings that
have been released onto the reserves ditch network, we were lucky enough to
enjoy releasing a Long-eared Owl earlier in the summer, and on another
occasion, a Spotted Flycatcher into a local brood to be reared by ‘foster parents’.
Jean also brought in a recently fledged Buzzard to release over the Ings meadow,
where there are plenty of young Buzzards and Kestrels exploiting the easy hunting
on the Ings with the hay cut exposing plenty of earthworks and frogs as well as
small mammals. To help Jean with her work, LDV NNR volunteer, Friends of the
LDV trustee and member of the Calderdale Raptor Group, Nick Carter, presented
Jean (albeit distantly) with a cheque from the raptor group to support her
amazing work - well done Jean and many thanks for all that you do.