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.