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

Monday 20 February 2023

20/02/23 - WeBS UK February

Great WeBS count in the LDV yesterday, with a total of 50,055 birds counted inc. 20, 207 wildfowl, 9682 waders and 20,168 gulls - nice to have a mix of wintering visitors with the start of spring passage and returning breeding birds. 

Wildfowl totals inc. 144 Whooper Swans, 301 Pink-footed Geese, 9152 Wigeon and 7717 Teal, with notable counts of 657 Pintail, 495 Gadwall and 248 Shoveler. 

Counts of 7018 Lapwing, 276 Dunlin and 27 Ruff were also had, with signs of spring including 7 returning Oystercatchers, 41 Black-tailed Godwits, a Green Sandpiper and up to 69 returning Curlew.

Other birds present around the LDV this weekend inc. the long staying juvenile Hen Harrier, two redhead Smew, Great White Egret, seven Marsh Harrier, four Peregrine, a single Mediterranean Gull & four Barn Owls - the latter showing well at Bank Island at dawn/dusk recently.

Thursday 16 February 2023

13/02/23 - Peregrine success story

Birdwatchers visiting the #LDV recently have been able to enjoy good numbers of birds of prey, attracted by the thousands of wintering waterfowl - amongst them up to five wintering Peregrines have been showing well at both Wheldrake and North Duffield Carrs. 

Peregrine - Wheldrake Ings - 11/02/23 - DB

However, one individual seen recently (photographed at the weekend by local birder Duncan Bye), proved to be rather special. It was a young bird from 2021, that had fractured its collarbone – leaving it grounded and unable to fly. Fortunately, the wounded individual ended up in the expert care of Jean Thorpe, who, alongside Mark and the team at Battle Flatts Vets, were able to ensure the bone healed in the correct position. Once the bone had healed, the bird was then transferred to the National Birds of Prey Centre at Duncombe Park, where Charlie and the team flew it to help it gain its strength and fine-tuned its hunting instinct – very important for a young bird which hadn’t been fledged long, and which depends on speed and agility to survive. Once the bird was declared fit for release back into the wild, Jean brought it over to the reserve, where it was released in October 2021 - nearly three months after it was first picked up.

Peregrine release - NDC - 08/10/21

So, imagine everyone’s delight to see it at the weekend on Wheldrake Ings – not only having survived but looking so well. A huge thank you to everyone involved for their time, expertise, and hard work, in ensuring such a fantastic outcome for this bird – and adding to the enjoyment of so many who will have been able to watch and admire it hunting around the reserve.