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

Wednesday 5 June 2024

01/06/24 - Spotted Crakes

Spotted Crakes are arguably one of our rarest, most elusive, least well known and anti-social breeding birds in the Lower Derwent Valley, and the reserve is one of only a handful of regular UK breeding sites, with between one and five calling males recorded here in most years. More sporadically larger numbers have been recorded with up to 26 singing males in 1998, 12 in 1999 and 2000, and up to 31 males in 2021. This represents a significant proportion of the 30-80 singing males recorded annually.

With these birds only usually calling between 10pm and 4.30am our team, with the help and efforts of local birders, have been busy carrying out nocturnal surveys over recent weeks. So far this year the team have logged 23 singing males around the site – no doubt in part due to the long-protracted flooding that is still lingering in places – providing ideal ‘swamp’ habitat for the species. After calling well for a week or so these birds then tend to call less frequently thereafter, as they presumably pair up and establish territories, although it is also possible that some individuals may move on to other sites. During this time one individual has also been caught, ringed and radio-tagged, with details to follow on our social media accounts of its movements. Many thanks to everyone who has helped us to gather this valuable data.

Monday 18 March 2024

10/03/24 - Festival of NNRs

We’re pleased to announce that another Festival of NNRs week will be running this year from the 20th-31st May, with a number of events planned in the #LDV throughout the week, including a series of walks around Wheldrake Ings and along the Pocklington Canal, guided by local experts Duncan Bye, Neil Cooper and Jono Leadley. 

As per last year, all the walks will be free of charge, with donations welcome to the Friends of the Lower Derwent Valley Conservation Group. Places are limited (10 per walk), with the following dates currently available: 

Wednesday 22nd Evening walk at Wheldrake Ings with Duncan Bye. 6pm.

Saturday 25th Morning walk at Wheldrake Ings with Duncan Bye. 8am.

Sunday 26th Morning walk at Wheldrake Ings with Jono Leadley. 8am.

Sunday 26th Morning walk along the Pocklington Canal with Neil Cooper. 9.30am.

Wednesday 29th Evening walk at Wheldrake Ings with Jono Leadley. 7pm.

Thursday 30th Morning walk along the Pocklington Canal with Neil Cooper. 9.30am.

If you would like to book yourself a place, please send an e-mail to Lucy.Murgatroyd@naturalengland.org.uk

Friday 12 January 2024

10/01/24 - LDV greetings cards

We are pleased to announce that the Friends of the Lower Derwent Valley Conservation Group have a new range of greeting cards for sale, with a total of 25 designs produced by the LDV team, including artwork from @niqvassie and photographs from @LucyMurg showcasing some of the iconic Ings species and scenes. These cards are blank either for your own personalised message or to send as a gift to others, and are priced at just £1.50 each or four for £5, with all proceeds going to the Friends of the Lower Derwent Valley charitable trust. 

The money received from these cards will help to further conservation efforts in the area and includes land purchases, bird research programmes and habitat improvement schemes, which have all been delivered as a result of a huge amount of hard work by the trustees and wider LDV volunteers as well as your kind support. The cards can either be purchased from our NNR Base at Bank Island or hand-delivered if you’re in the local area, or posted out for a P&P charge – if you’d like to make a purchase, please send us a message via our social media accounts, or send an e-mail to Lucy.Murgatroyd@naturalengland.org.uk – thank you.