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

Jun' 22

Lower Derwent Valley NNR - June Sightings

June can be a quiet month, often dominated by breeding activity, however one or two surprises are always possible…

Highlights included a single Spotted Crake which appeared on the pool at Wheldrake - confirmed as a returning singing bird from 2021. A Corncrake was flushed on East Cottingwith Ings (7th) whilst, following a couple of earlier Quail records from the Elvington area, five further birds arrived from the 13th. Two Spoonbills at Wheldrake Ings on the 10th were a great find, although they departed after less than 30 minutes making their stay on the reserve typically short and out of reach of most of the locals. Wader passage continued at a trickle, but news of two summer plumaged Curlew Sandpiper came from Wheldrake on the 7th, followed by a Temminck’s Stint briefly at Bank Island on the 15th before being chased off by the resident Little Ringed Plovers, with a fine summer plumaged ‘black’ Spotted Redshank at the same site on 22nd. This site also hosted the first returning Green Sandpiper on the 22nd. A Hoopoe, at month end near Sutton was rather unexpected!

Spoonbills - Wheldrake Ings - 10/06 - DB

Amongst all the duck and wader broods, breeding season records included a Water Rail chick at Bank Island on the 7th. The hepatic female Cuckoo remained at Wheldrake until at least the 12th, whilst the pair of Common Terns reared three chicks at Wheldrake. Spotted Flycatchers raised a brood at Melbourne and up to 37 singing Corn Buntings were present around the area.


Many thanks as always to everyone who submitted counts and records throughout the month, in particular to members of York Birding, and regular patch birder Duncan Bye - thanks also to Duncan for the use of his images below (credited DB).



Whooper Swan – A single remained throughout the month in the Melbourne and Thornton Ings area.

Whooper Swan - Thornton Ings - 02/06 - DB

Mute Swan – Up to 31 birds were found moulting on the River Derwent during the month - having been displaced from North Duffield Carrs by falling water levels. Good numbers of cygnets remained in their family parties after a successful breeding season.

Egyptian Goose – Five adults were at Thornton Ellers on the 12th.

Egyptian Goose - Wheldrake Ings - 27/06 - DB

Shelduck – Two furthers broods (six and nine), appeared during the month with a brood also noted at Elvington Water Treatment Works.

Wigeon – Three pairs remained throughout the month.

Gadwall – Broods continued to appear with 13 newly hatched ducklings on the pool at Wheldrake on the 1st with 10 other broods (63 young) around the reserve between the 2nd to 7th. Further broods appeared as the month progressed.

Shoveler – Two broods of newly hatched young were at Bank Island on the 1st with four broods (27 young) at North Duffield Carrs on the 3rd. Up to 15 broods had appeared at Wheldrake Ings by month end.

Shoveler - Wheldrake Ings - 18/06 - DB

Garganey – Drakes were still present at Bank Island and Wheldrake Ings until the 6th.

Little Grebe – Three pairs, including a pair with two almost fledged young, were present on the pool at Wheldrake between the 3rd-7th. Three pairs also bred at North Duffield Carrs with eight young recorded.

Spoonbill – Two adults in breeding plumage flew into Wheldrake Ings mid-morning on the 10th, departing after a brief stay of around 30 minutes - flying off high towards Elvington.

Grey Heron – Numbers of adults and young increased around the reserve during the month as birds departed and fledged from the heronry.

Grey Heron - Wheldrake Ings - 27/06 - DB

Little Egret – Numbers at Wheldrake Ings increased as the first fledged young were present there on the 24th, with a total of 14 recorded there on the 30th.

Common Crane – Single over Melbourne on the 23rd.

Marsh Harrier – A single female remained on Wheldrake on the 1st and regularly thereafter throughout the month.  

Peregrine – One or two were seen occasionally around the reserve during the month, with at least three pairs noted nesting on pylons in the area.

Hobby – Birds were widespread throughout the site with sightings from Wheldrake, Bank Island, Thorganby, Aughton and North Duffield Carrs. Two pairs were located to nest sites during the month.

Coot – 16 non breeding/failed breeders were at North Duffield Carrs on the 1st when 27 similar loafing birds were also present. Numbers decreased as the month progressed

Spotted Crake – A single on the pool at Wheldrake Ings on the 2nd was identified by colour-rings as a bird ringed nearby and on the same territory in June and July 2021 (CSR). Possibly the same bird was seen again there in flight, being chased by a Moorhen, on the 27th (DB).

Corncrake – One was flushed at East Cottingwith Ings on the 7th (MR).  

Quail – A calling bird was present after dark at Elvington on the night of the 9th/10th. A small arrival then took place with a newly arrived individual roaming fields opposite the NNR base on the 13th with two also calling at dusk at Wheldrake Ings. A single was located singing at Ellerton Ings at dusk on the 14th with one calling at Bubwith Ings on the 19th and 20th. One was at Thorganby on the 23rd and Aughton on the 29th, with two at Ellerton Ings on the 30th.  Total of 10 singing males during the month.

Quail - NNR Base - 13/06

Grey Partridge – A pair were at Thorganby Ings on the 20th with a pair on Sutton Ings on the same date.

Water Rail – A juvenile, the first of the year, was present at Bank Island on the 7th with two broods (10 young) at Wheldrake later in the month.

Little Ringed Plover – Up to four remained in the Bank Island area throughout the month.

Ringed Plover – Two were present at Bank Island on the 8th.

Oystercatcher – At least seven pairs with young were noted during the month, with small numbers of passage birds presumed moving towards month end - a flock of 13 such birds were at Bank Island on the 30th.

Lapwing – Post breeding flocks started to build up during the month with 130 at Bank Island and Wheldrake on the 29th.

Snipe – Counts of drumming birds included twelve at Wheldrake, ten at North Duffield Carrs, two at Bank Island, four at East Cottingwith and five at Ellerton. An unfledged chick was present at North Duffield Ings on the 14th, which also held four drumming birds on that date. Two drumming males were present on the Low Grounds, with six on Melbourne and Thornton Ings.

Snipe - Wheldrake Ings - 27/06 - DB

Curlew – Single pairs with chicks were on Sutton Ings, Thorganby south, the Low Grounds and Bank Island on the 20th, when two pairs were present, alarming, at Bubwith Ings. Four pairs bred on North Duffield Ings with three pairs at East Cottingwith and three pairs at Ellerton Ings.

Dunlin – Single at Bank Island on the 8th with three there on the 28th.

Temminck’s Stint – One was found at Bank Island on the 15th, remaining for about an hour before being flushed by defensive Little Ringed Plovers (MR, CSR).

Curlew Sandpiper – Two were reported from Wheldrake Ings on the 7th.

Redshank – Up to five were present daily at Bank Island, with a brood of three there on the 5th. Two broods (four plus young) fledged at Wheldrake Ings with three broods at North Duffield Carrs.

Spotted Redshank – A summer plumage individual was present at Bank Island on the 18th with another similar bird again on the 28th.

Spotted Redshank - Bank Island - 18/06 - DB

Green Sandpiper – A single, the first returning autumn bird, was at Bank Island on the 17th with two or three daily on the reserve thereafter.

Black-headed Gull – The first fledged juvenile appeared at Bank Island on the 14th with two on the 17th and several thereafter.

Common Tern – The first tern check hatched on the Wheldrake raft on the 8th, with others appearing shortly after and a total of three on the 12th. In addition to this pair up to four were regularly recorded throughout the reserve, with five adults at Wheldrake Ings on the 30th when the family party had fledged the raft.

Barn Owl – Good numbers of breeding pairs were present throughout the site with plenty of day flying activity as adults fed hungry broods. Brood sizes were good (average five), with plenty of additional food cached in nest sites.

Barn Owl - Bank Island - 26/06 - DB

Cuckoo The hepatic female was still present at Wheldrake Ings on the 10th and again on the 12th. Others were still present at Melbourne and Thornton Ings to month end and at Wheldrake until the 22nd.

Hoopoe – A single appeared in a farm garden at Woodhouse Grange on the 29th and 30th, and was seen again nearby on the local cricket pitch (NH).

Cetti’s Warbler – Up to three calling males remained at Bank Island during the month with two at Wheldrake Ings. A female with a full brood patch was caught and ringed at the NNR base at Bank Island on the 16th – evidence of successful breeding.

Grasshopper Warbler – A newly arrived bird was reeling by the NNR base on the 13th with presumably the same bird towards Wheldrake Ings car park on the 18th. A single was present by the pool at Wheldrake on the 30th.

Spotted Flycatcher – A pair bred in an artificial swallow nest cup at the Melbourne Arm during the month, with the pair seen feeding young from the 7th.

Corn Bunting – Surveys during the month revealed - fifteen pairs in the East Cottingwith Hagg Lane area, four pairs at East Cottingwith Ings, three pairs at Ellerton Ings, two singing males at Wheldrake Ings and six in the Thornton Ellers area. Two singing males were at Thorganby Ings on the 20th when two singing males were also present at Bubwith Ings with another near the North Duffield Carrs roadside.

No comments:

Post a Comment