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

Tuesday 17 November 2020

10/11/20 - Pink-feet arrival

Over recent days we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of geese using the Lower Derwent Valley, especially at Bank Island where large flocks have been roosting - flying in at dusk and then leaving at first light. This has involved around 3000 of our more familiar Greylag Geese, although given the numbers involved (and previous ringing recoveries), not all of these will be of local origin, with birds from Iceland and Northern Europe known to have wintered on the reserve in previous years. There has also been a large number of Pink-footed Geese recorded in the area. This species often flies in larger, more compact skeins, with their high pitched musical calls being very distinctive as they pass overhead. These smaller geese - visitors from Iceland and Greenland during the winter, are a dark chocolate brown with pink legs and a small pink patch on their bill. Up to 2000 have been seen at North Duffield Carrs recently – thanks local patch birder Duncan Bye for the use of his image taken recently in North Duffield, and thanks also to those who shared videos and images on social media.

Wednesday 11 November 2020

01/11/20 - Norfolk Marsh Harriers

The story of the Marsh Harrier is a real conservation success - once very rare and confined to a handful of pairs in East Anglia, and now, over recent decades, it has spread from its stronghold to other parts of the country where its preferred reedbed habitat can be found. Now resident in the LDV throughout the year, up to 10 birds have been present on the reserve in recent weeks, with individuals roosting at Bank Island, Wheldrake, Aughton and North Duffield Carrs – at least four of these birds have been marked elsewhere, with wing tags allowing their movements to be tracked. At least two of the four have been ringed as chicks in the nest in Norfolk – one from a brood at Holkham NNR on the North Norfolk coast - many thanks to the ringing team for sending us the images below of the birds being ringed.

Similar in size to a Common Buzzard, Marsh Harriers are longer winged and often fly with their wings held in a shallow ‘V’. Females and juvenile birds are a dark chocolate brown with a cream coloured head and shoulders, whilst the males are a mix of ginger brown and grey. Please do let us know if you see any and if you manage to record any of the wing tagged individuals, thank you. Thanks also to Matt Gowney and Joel Ireland for the use of their images, taken recently at Wheldrake Ings.