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.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

20/02/12 - A new surprise...

Things have been ticking over in the last few days with one or two new birds being caught each day, mainly Shelduck, 34 new birds and 10 different re-traps from previous years have now been caught during 2012.

On arriving to check the trap today there were two Shelduck up on the grain in the whoosh net area - with a similar sized dark bird just behind them. A quick double take followed by an instant fire of the net added a fine first winter Dark-bellied Brent Goose onto the LDV ringing totals. The species is rather scarce in the valley, being less than annual with 15 records in the last 35 years. Occurrences can be rather sporadic but there is a trend to fall largely between January - March, but birds tend to move on quickly and seldom linger for more than a day. All in all a big surprise, and the 150th species to be ringed in the valley (not bad for an inland site!). 

Also on a scarce goose theme - Egyptian Geese have been increasing in the valley over recent years. There were five records between the first in 1979 and 2002, with another 5 between 2003 - 2009. A pair arrived in the valley in early March 2010 and the male found this way into a whoosh net area on 25/03/10. They attempted breeding (but appeared to fail) in 2010 and again (along with a second pair) which attempted but failed in 2011. They have turned up again over the last few days as the photo below from Hagg Bridge shows. It’s obviously of value to have at least one of the birds ringed so we can keep tabs on what’s happening with them, especially as it may be the start of colonising the valley.


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