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.

Monday, 2 September 2013

19/08/13 - Still ringing....? Just!

Long term followers of our blog will be aware that the summer months tend to be the time when we try to ring some of our locally bred ducklings. The Lower Derwent Valley NNR is one of the few places in the country where regular numbers of such ducklings are caught and ringed, and the totals from here make up a significant proportion, and in the case of Shoveler, virtually all those ringed in the UK. Last year proved to be one of our most successful seasons in this respect with both a successful breeding season and the late summer floods which further provided ideal catching opportunities. This year however, it appears to have been a rather poor breeding season across the board, presumably as a result of the prolonged cold winter and late spring preventing many species getting into good breeding conditions. This has affected the waterfowl, waders, the local owl population and many of our resident passerines. Furthermore, the much needed drier conditions throughout the late spring and summer which have been great in getting the hay meadows cut, and allowing us to catch up on management works, have also limited the success for breeding waterfowl. 

That said, the success of this type of ringing depends on dogged determination and persistence, so despite many early starts and failed attempts, dedicated members of the LDV Team kept pushing the corale trap at Wheldrake Ings (which was so successful in rounding up our geese in May). Low numbers of moulting drake Mallards were caught and despite continuous blank sessions throughout the majority of July the spirit of never giving up finally paid off with a brood of four Shoveler and two Gadwall ducklings caught on the last day of the month. 
 
 Shoveler brood - Wheldrake - 31/07/13
Gadwall duckling - Wheldrake - 31/07/13

Various broods of Gadwall, Shoveler and a cr├Ęche of 14 Tufted Ducks on the top pond at North Duffield Carrs also meant several hard, hot and tiring sessions in chest waders in the searing heat fighting against the bulrush’s to drive the birds towards the nets. A lot of effort per bird but very successful in adding six Gadwall and four Tufted Ducks to the annual totals in three short sessions during the first week of August.

 
 Tufted Duck brood - North Duffield - 07/08/13
 Gadwall ducklings - North Duffield - 01/08/13
Gadwall duckling - North Duffield - 01/08/13

Whilst there we also took the opportunity to catch the only cygnet the Mute Swan pair on the top pond raised this year - again reflecting the small clutch sizes and subsequent brood sizes we have seen this year.  
 
 
Mute Swan cygnet - North Duffield Carrs - 01/08/13 

We have also just received news of one of our Grey Herons (yellow darvic 28) that was colour-ringed on the 17th May this year at the local heronry - 1 of a brood of two. It is presently residing at Nosterfield Nature Reserve near Ripon and again (following our other two recoveries) suggests a fairly rapid post breeding dispersal to the north. Many thanks to Jill Warwick from the East Dales Ringing Group for passing on the information and sending us the following photograph.

 
Grey Heron '28' - Nosterfield NR

Surprisingly given the large numbers of young Grey Herons we’ve had on the reserve this year (and checked for rings) we’ve not had any local re-sightings and so it’s maybe that the young Grey Herons that are now present in the valley have dispersed from elsewhere and are not the previously assumed local population. We’ve certainly had one visitor with the herons that’s come from a more southerly location. Many thanks to Robert Dawson for allowing us to reproduce his photographs taken below from Pool Hide, Wheldrake Ings on the 16th August.

 
Great White Egret - Wheldrake Ings - 16/08/13

2 comments:

  1. Glad you had some success! Where is 'top pond' at Duffield Carrs, do you mean the pond infront of the hide?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Andy. No we don't mean the scrape in front of the hide, unfortunately there is no public access because it's not possible to get there on NE land and without causing major disturbance. We only put records out from here because birds that use it can turn up elsewhere in the valley.

      Delete