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, regular readers may have noticed the increase in posts detailing wildlife found across the valley (ranging from plants, fungi, butterflies, dragonflies & other invertebrates). Ringing posts will hopefully resume over the winter months, and will run alongside wildlife and work posts.
Friday, 13 January 2017
Wednesday, 7 December 2016
- A single Greater Black-backed Gull was caught with a Norwegian ring on, and one of our ringed GBB was spotted in Cornwall.
Wednesday, 30 November 2016
However we won’t be clearing all of it as many species also thrive in the young scrubby habitat that the birch provides. Many thanks to our team for all the hard work put in so far, loppering the saplings and spraying them is hard going - especially in the wet and windy days of late - and with so much birch to tackle we’ll be busy working on here until the end of March – by then the team will no doubt be ready for a change of scenery – although there are definitely worst places to work!
Wednesday, 23 November 2016
On Tuesday this week, the team were hard at work on Wheldrake Ings, busy finishing the last of the scrub clearance before the site floods. With the main work already done due to many days spent on there in August/September, there were just a few small areas left to finish. The ditches at the back of Pool Hide are now willow-free, and all the cuttings were burnt. Whilst the fire did a great job of getting rid of all the newly cut willows, it also kept everyone warm and took care of lunch for the team – although one of the potatoes had seen better days! Thanks as always to the team for their hard work and good humour.
We're not the only ones who have been busy on the Ings lately, over the last few weeks the local birders may have noticed the heavy machinery working on the Ings as the annual ditching programme is undertaken. Ditch clearance is carried out on a rotational basis in order to keep the extensive network functioning (i.e moving water on and off the Ings as river levels fluctuate, whilst helping to maintain the valley’s wildlife interest as well as maximising the natural flood management role of the site (the storage of water during the winter floods). Keeping the ditches open and free from a build-up of silt and vegetation also helps maintain their suitability for some of our breeding ducks, small mammals (Water Voles), dragonflies and other invertebrates and scarce plants such as Greater Water Parsnip. The work has been taking place on North Duffield Carrs, Thornton, Aughton, Wheldrake Ings and Bank Island, at the latter site we have also been busy carrying out improvements to the scrapes making the site look better than ever.
Friday, 18 November 2016
Over the last couple of weeks we have also seen the first of our ‘resident’ Whooper Swans arrive back in the valley. Numbers slowly built up with 25 by the end of October, and up to 41 over recent days, with the herd returning to their favoured fields at the north end of North Duffield Carrs. Birds have also been seen visiting the pool at Wheldrake Ings where local birder, Duncan Bye, managed to see and photograph a colour-ringed bird ‘G5F’. This bird, an adult male, was caught and ringed at North Duffield Carrs in our last cannon net catch on the 28th November 2013, as part of a partnership project with the WWT. After the catch G5F remained with us throughout the winter, however the following year he didn’t return here, choosing to winter in the Lothian area of Scotland instead, and again possibly in 2015 as he was re-sighted at Caerlaverock WWT reserve, Dumfries on the 5th March 2016. It’s great to see him back in the LDV this winter, and hopefully he’ll be the first of a few colour-ringed birds to arrive over the coming weeks as the herd builds up to the usual number of 100+ individuals. If you’re visiting the reserve please let us know of any colour-ringed birds you come across thank you.
Following a relatively dry summer and autumn so far (which has provided great conditions for the team to catch up on all the land management jobs around the valley), the heavy rain on the coast and moors last weekend caused the River Derwent to rise and start some localised flooding. So it’s been a race against time this last week to finish the flailing on Bank Island as the first water of the autumn poured over the ditches and onto the site – fortunately we managed to finish it just in the nick of time on Tuesday, as by Wednesday morning the newly cut areas were all under water. The site now looks great and is set to attract both wintering wildfowl and waders over the coming weeks and months – over 1000 Wigeon were present this morning.