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, 13 April 2021

08/04/21 - Sand Martins

We are pleased to be able to say that our first Sand Martins have returned to the Lower Derwent Valley NNR after their long spring migration. Wintering largely in the Sahel area of Africa, Sand Martins are one of the first summer migrants to appear from mid-March, and are highly gregarious, breeding in colonies where they excavate tunnels in sandy banks. Sadly, natural nesting colonies in riverbanks are prone to summer flooding, however, with thanks to your support via log sales, cards and calendar purchases, and kind donations, the Friends of the Lower Derwent Valley have installed several Sand Martin nesting ‘hotels’ on the reserve over the last few years.

These, like the one at Bank Island pictured below (images from a previous year), will provide additional nesting locations and will also be less prone to be flooded out and safe from predators. Over the last couple of years this ‘hotel’ has proved popular with returning adults, and has resulted in over 140 chicks successfully fledging. We’ll be filling them with sand this week with the hope that this year’s cohort will soon move in, and then we'll turn our attentions to repairing the bank at Wheldrake Ings which became damaged during the winter floods.

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