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 30 October 2020

20/10/20 - Jack Snipe

Recently we have seen a small arrival of one of our favourite wading birds – the Jack Snipe. Jack Snipe are about half the size of a Common Snipe, and arrive into the UK from early October (from their Eastern European breeding grounds), and stay as late as the end of March-early April. Numbers arriving and recorded in the valley can vary depending upon water levels and survey input. Being quite small, and cryptically plumaged, Jack Snipe can be hard to spot hiding in the sward, and unlike other wading species which are easily flushed and take flight, Jack Snipe choose to rely on their camouflage and sit tight - characteristically flushing at the last minute from right underneath your feet, and even then, only flying a short distance away. 

Up to 14 have been seen and subsequently caught and ringed at Bank Island recently, with thanks to our team of volunteers and a thermal camera used to locate the birds. Once a bird has been located a large net is dragged over the ground, with the birds jumping up when the net passes over the top of them. With such a difficult bird to survey by other methods, this technique helps generate accurate counts and information of a species which is still quite poorly understood.

Monday 19 October 2020

15/10/20 - New Aviva 'easy-access' path

Earlier this week we were pleased to welcome a small team of staff from Aviva, York, as our first corporate volunteer group of the year. Complete with additional risk assessments and following Covid guidelines, the team split into small groups and worked hard helping us complete our ‘access for all’ path to the hides at Bank Island. 

We were delighted that Aviva staff could be here to help us complete the path, with the project being part funded through the Aviva Community Fund. If the current situation with the virus and initial lock down has shown us anything, it’s how much we value and need access to green space and the natural environment – so it’s great to finally be able to say that our new ‘easy-access’ path is now open, and that more people will now be able to access, enjoy and appreciate the reserve and its wildlife as a result of this work. 

Additional and enlarged wader scrapes have also been created as part of the improvements, with willows also cleared along the river bank to improve the view from the hide - new ramps to the hide are also to follow. Many thanks to everyone who has contributed to the path either practically or through donations.