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.

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Tuesday 6 June 2023

04/06/23 - Squacco Heron

Last week we had a rather special and rare visitor to the Lower Derwent Valley NNR in the form of a Squacco Heron. Squacco Herons are small brown herons, weighing in at just 270-390g (compared with 1020-2073g for a Grey Heron), and are smaller than our now regularly encountered Little Egrets. They are stunning looking birds with a mix of peach, buff and cinnamon coloured plumage, with white wings when seen in flight and long black-edged plumes on their head.

Squacco Herons are usually found breeding in wetlands in southern Europe and western, eastern and southern Africa, with them being a rare visitor to the UK with less than 300 national records, and an even scarcer visitor to Yorkshire with little more than a dozen county occurrences. This individual is presumably the same bird seen last week at Filey Dams and in the Upper Derwent Catchment around Potter Brompton, before it headed further downstream along the River Derwent. After a couple of hours at Bank Island the bird then relocated to North Duffield Carrs where it is still present today. This is the first record of this species for the reserve and has drawn a steady crowd of admirers - thanks to eagle-eyed #LDV volunteer Mal Richardson for spotting it, and to local patch birder Duncan Bye for the image below.