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.

July '17

Lower Derwent Valley NNR - July Sightings

As the month unfolded it became clear it had been a good breeding season for many species of birds throughout the reserve. Good numbers of waterfowl bred with large numbers of Gadwall, Shoveler and Tufted Duck broods appearing from the ditch network and onto the pool at Wheldrake Ings, along with a female Wigeon accompanied by a near fledged duckling. A single Pochard also reared three ducklings on the ditches at Bank Island. The breeding season highlight almost certainly related to Corncrakes with at least eight singing males located over the course of the season. A female was also seen at one location, and two or three fledged young at another following a delayed hay cut and ‘Corncrake friendly’ mowing – a great joint effort between conservation managers, local birders and the local farming community – many thanks to all involved for doing such a great job. One or two lingering Quail continued to call at Bubwith Ings and North Duffield Carrs - no doubt also benefiting from the similar management arrangements, whilst a pair of Grey Partridge were accompanied by twelve day old young at Aughton Ings on the 4th.

Three adult Hobbies were seen carrying food suggesting they were feeding broods, whilst two pairs of Red Kites appeared with young – at least three fledged in the area. Two pairs of Marsh Harriers were also recorded as having bred with up to three immatures present at month end. The wader breeding season was largely over during the month although several Snipe were still actively ‘drumming’ suggesting late clutches. Single Lapwing chicks and a brood of Redshank remained unfledged until well into July at Bank Island – a site which held the majority of post breeding and passage waders with up to 600 Lapwing, 100+ Snipe, six Black-tailed Godwits, three Ruff and two Dunlin.

The Wheldrake Common Terns fledged two young from the raft and continued to linger to month end, thus attracting several other non-breeding/passage adults. A Great White Egret (9th) and Common Crane (3rd) put in yet further appearances, whilst a family party of three Ravens over Wheldrake Ings was noteworthy (although an increasingly regular sight). Willow Tits and Nuthatch continued as breeding species in the Wheldrake area.

Many thanks as always to the regular valley birders for the submission of records throughout the month, in particular to members of the YOC and extra thanks to Duncan Bye for the use of photographs - credited DB. Thanks also to visiting birders for leaving records in the hide log books provided. 


BIRDS: 

Mute Swan – 10 pairs with 56 remaining cygnets were still present at month end, in addition to 23 summering/moulting non-breeding adults – a total of 99 birds.  

Mute Swan family - North Duffield Carrs - 19/07 - CR

Greylag Goose – Up to 100+ remained at Bank Island with several unfledged goslings both there and at Wheldrake Ings on the 21st. Smaller parties of up to 30 were recorded from several sites in the valley, particularly Thornton Ellers where small flocks were present most days as birds started to disperse away from the site. Flocks were often encountered feeding on stubble fields around the reserve late in the month following the harvest. 

Canada Goose – Only a handful of birds remained at Bank Island and Wheldrake Ings. 

Shelduck – A single adult female was present on the pool at Wheldrake on the 17th, 19th and 21st. Two unfledged juveniles were present on the pool from the 26th to month end. 

Wigeon – A single female with a large, almost fledged juvenile was found on the scrape at Swantail Hide, Wheldrake on the 21st (CSR, FM), presumably the same two were seen on the 23rd (DB) and daily on the pool thereafter. 

Teal – Small numbers lingered following the breeding season with seven at Thornton Ellers on the 17th, 11 at Wheldrake on the 19th and four at Bank Island on the 22nd. 

Garganey – A single eclipse drake at Bank Island on the 18th was followed by a juvenile there on the 29th.  

Mallard – 100+ moulting adults and broods were present at Wheldrake on the 11th with 150+ there on the 21st. 

Gadwall – Five broods comprising 36 ducklings were present on the pool at Wheldrake on the 10th, with 60+ ducklings there on the 11th - several unfledged broods remained at month end. 21 ducklings fledged from Bank Island while a single unfledged brood of nine remained at North Duffield Carrs to month end. 

Gadwall duckling - Wheldrake - 13/07

Shoveler – Two unfledged broods of 10 ducklings were present on the pool at Wheldrake on the 10th with 20 fledged ducklings there on the 17th. Several ducklings also fledged and lingered at Bank Island. 

Tufted Duck – With receding water levels at Wheldrake a total of four broods (21 ducklings) appeared on the pool on the 10th. A single female was accompanied by three ducklings at North Duffield Carrs on the 22nd. 

Pochard – A single drake was again present on the pool at Wheldrake on the 1st, 4th and 9th, while a female found on the ditch network at Bank Island with three ducklings on the 21st was unexpected (CSR, FM). 

Spoonbill – A single was present at Wheldrake on the 8th. 

Grey Heron – Up to 30 birds were present throughout the site on several dates, with 17 at Bank Island on the 5th being the largest concentration. 

Great White Egret – A single was present at Bank Island on the 9th (AF). 

Little Egret – Numbers increased during the month with 14 at Wheldrake on the 7th. 

Little Grebe – A single pair fledged one youngster at Wheldrake Ings, where it lingered on the pool to month end. 

Red Kite – Four pairs remained in the area with two of the pairs having thought to have bred, and at least one brood was seen confirming successful breeding. Two were observed following hay making operations at the Low Grounds on the 1st, with four birds (two adults and two juveniles) there from the 9th onwards. Two birds were regularly seen carrying food early in the month at Melbourne. Up to six were hunting over the cut meadows at Wheldrake Ings/Bank Island on the 18th/19th, whilst two were seen over newly mown hay at North Duffield Carrs on the 19th/20th followed by Aughton on 21st/23rd. 
Marsh Harrier – Two pairs were thought to have bred in the valley, with the first fledged juvenile at Bank Island on the 17th. Three were together there on the 21st. 

Marsh Harrier - Bank Island - 30/07 - DB

Common Buzzard – Increasing numbers of birds were present throughout the site and wider area as broods fledged. Sample counts included nine between Wheldrake and Elvington on the 27th and seven over Wheldrake Ings on the 29th. 

Hobby – Birds were present at Bank Island on the 1st and 4th, with sightings also coming from Wheldrake on the 2nd and East Cottingwith/Thorganby on the 4th. A single was again present at North Duffireld Carrs on the 19th. Adults were seen carrying food at Bank Island, Thorganby and North Duffield Carrs on the 21st - suggesting at least three were feeding young around the site. 

Kestrel – Large numbers were present throughout the valley with fledged broods appearing early in the month. Up to six birds were hunting over newly cut hay at Wheldrake on the 17th. A total of 33 young are known to have fledged around the valley from 11 nests, with 16 young birds ringed. 

Kestrel - Menthorpe - 06/07

Common Crane – A single flew south down the valley over Aughton Ings on the 3rd.    

Corncrake – Another successful breeding season with at least eight singing males involved, from which four or five are thought to have bred or at least attempting breeding. A single singing male continued to call in front of Tower Hide, Wheldrake Ings, daily from the 1st, when two sightings were also reported from the meadow. A single female was seen on the path by the hide there on the 3rd. Two were singing again on the site on the 11th with a single there until at least the 25th. Singing males also continued to call daily at North Duffield Carrs and Bubwith Ings early in the month until at least the 19th. Two recently fledged juveniles were seen at the northern end of North Duffield Carrs on the 18th with another there on the 19th. 

Quail – Following last months influx birds were still present throughout the site but calling was much reduced. A single was still singing at Bubwith Ings on the 17th and North Duffield Carrs on the 18th/19th.

Water Rail – Up to four pairs remained at Wheldrake throughout the month with other calling birds noted at Melbourne, Aughton and North Duffield Carrs. 

Grey Partridge – A pair seen at Wheldrake on the 1st were followed by a pair at Thornton Ellers on the 2nd and a pair with 12 newly hatched chicks at Aughton on the 4th. 

Little Ringed Plover – Two confiding adults present at Thornton Ellers on the 3rd were followed by two at Bank Island on the 16th/17th. 

Little Ringed Plover - Thornton Ellers - 03/07

Golden Plover – The first returning birds were a small flock of seven at Bank Island on the 18th. 

Lapwing – 120 post breeding birds at Bank Island included two unfledged juveniles on the 1st and 3rd. 200+ were still present at this site with unfledged young on the 17th. A count of 530 on cut meadows across the site on the 19th was followed by 600 at Bank Island on the 21st. 

Dunlin – Two at Bank Island on the 17th – 22nd and a single there on the 30th. 

Ruff – Three were at Bank Island on the 16th with two there on the 17th. 

Black-tailed Godwit – Six at Bank Island on the 10th were the first returning birds and were followed by seven there on the 21st and a single on the 30th. 

Common Snipe – Six drumming birds were still present over Bubwith Ings on the morning of the 10th, whilst numbers of post breeding birds built up at Bank Island with 50+ there on the 17th and 100+ on the 21st. Smaller numbers were scattered elsewhere with 25+ at Seavy Carr on the 11th and 14 at Aughton Ings on the 19th. 

Curlew – 17 post breeding birds were present at Thornton Ellers on the 3rd, whilst small numbers of fledged juveniles and passage birds were noted during the month. A full valley count on the 20th produced a total of 16 remaining birds.

Redshank – Four adults with at least one unfledged brood at Bank Island remained there until the 17th , and were followed by four on the 22nd and two to month end. A single, presumably passage immature, was present on the pool at Wheldrake on the 19th-23rd. 

Greenshank – A single at Bank Island on the 17th was the first returning bird of the autumn and was followed by another there on the 28th-30th. 

Common Sandpiper – A record of a single bird present on the River Derwent at Elvington on the 2nd was followed by one on the pool at Wheldrake on the 16th. 

Green Sandpiper – Two were present daily at Bank Island from the 1st – 9th, with occasional sightings thereafter until three on the 21st and two thereafter to month end. 

Common Tern – A single pair remained into the month having bred successfully on the new raft at Wheldrake Ings, fledging two chicks by the 10th. In addition, another pair were also present in the area and were recorded daily at Bank Island, whilst a further pair were reported from Allerthorpe Water Park early in the month. In addition to these, four flew north at Wheldrake on the 1st. A total of seven/eight adults remained in the Wheldrake area from the 12th to 17th with five there until the 25th and three until month end, no doubt attracted by the family party – encouraging signs for future years. Other sightings around the valley included a single fishing on the River Derwent by Elvington Bridge on the 21st. 

Common Tern - Wheldrake Ings - 13/07

Little Owl – A single was seen near Thorganby on the 4th when another was also present in Skipwith churchyard. 

Cuckoo – A single adult was seen at Elvington on the 1st and Melbourne on the 8th. 

Kingfisher – Birds were reported daily from Bank Island, Wheldrake Ings and several sites along the Pocklington Canal where up to five pairs were thought to have bred. Another pair were also thought to be breeding around Sutton Lock. A single was rescued from the northern penstock at Wheldrake Ings on the 3rd, with two (an adult and fledged juvenile) caught and ringed there on the 4th. Up to three were seen daily on the pool thereafter. 

Kingfisher - Wheldrake Ings - 03/07

Whinchat – A single adult male was observed in front of Tower Hide, Wheldrake on the 16th, shortly followed by four there on the 20th/21st. Two remained on the 22nd with a single still present on the 28th. 

Stonechat – A juvenile was present at the Melbourne Arm on the 31st. 

Raven – Three flew over Wheldrake Ings heading west on the 11th (CSR). 

Grey Wagtail – The pair at the Bank Island water treatment works raised a second brood during the month, with other pairs breeding at two sites along the Pocklington Canal. Post breeding dispersal probably accounted for singles at the pool on Wheldrake on the 17th and North Duffield Carrs on the 21st. 

Yellow Wagtail – 12 were present on a muck heap at Thornton on the 10th when a further seven were seen nearby at Thornton Ings. 17 were recorded at Wheldrake on the 21st with 12 at Bank Island on the 22nd. 

Swift – Up to 1000+ were present over Wheldrake on the morning of the 11th – the first significant movement of the year, followed by 300 on 13th and 100+ on several dates thereafter. 

Grasshopper Warbler – A single was heard reeling at Melbourne Ings on the 10th (NC), whilst four were recorded between Melbourne and Thornton Ings on the 11th – 15th. 

Spotted Flycatcher – A pair were thought to be nesting at Melbourne Arm on the Pocklington Canal early in the month, whilst a further pair bred in a village garden there during the month. 

Willow Tit – A family party of four juveniles were caught and ringed by the pool at Wheldrake on the 23rd (MFJ). 

Nuthatch – Birds were regularly reported from the Escrick Duck Decoy whilst a single individual was reported from Wheldrake Ings on the 23rd. 

Crossbill – A juvenile was present on a garden feeder at Melbourne village on the 29th.


MAMMALS: 

Roe Deer – Single at Wheldrake Ings on the 4th and 16th, followed by two at Bank Island on the 22nd and two at Wheldrake on the same date. Singles at Bank Island on the 24th and Wheldrake on the 31st. 

Brown Hare – Three at Thornton Ellers on the 6th, followed by two at Bank Island on the 22nd and two at Wheldrake on the same date. Other sightings came from Bank Island with two there on the 23rd, three on the 29th and two on the 30th. 

Red Fox – One at Bank Island on the 23rd. 

Weasel – A single was present at the NNR base on the 10th.


BUTTERFLIES: 

Small Tortoiseshell – Two at North Duffield Carrs on the 3rd, two at Bank Island on the 16th, one at the NNR base on the 19th and two at Wheldrake on the 29th. 

Peacock – One at Bank Island on the 23rd and four there on the 29th, on the same date a single was at Wheldrake, followed by six there on the 31st. 

Red Admiral – One at Skipwith Common and Thornton Ellers on the 6th, followed by six at Wheldrake on the 16th. Five at Bank Island on the 22nd whilst six were at Wheldrake on the same day. Ten at Wheldrake on the 23rd, six at Bank Island on the 29th and nine at Wheldrake on the same date, were followed by five at Bank Island on the 30th and eighteen at Wheldrake Ings, with a single there on the 31st. 

Comma – Single at Bank Island on the 16th, followed by a flurry of records from Wheldrake Ings – four on the 16th and 22nd, three on the 23rd, two on the 29th and seven on the 30th, whilst four were at Bank Island on the same date. 

Comma - Wheldrake Ings - 23/07 - DB

Common Blue – A single in the base garden at Bank Island on the 19th. 

Small Copper – Singles at Bank Island and Wheldrake Ings on the 30th 

Meadow Brown – Two at Skipwith Common on the 6th, thirteen at Bank Island on the 16th followed by a single there on the 29th, on the same date two were at Wheldrake Ings. Three at Bank Island on the 30th along with three at Wheldrake. 

Ringlet – Singles at Skipwith Common on the 6th and Wheldrake on the 16th and 22nd. 

Gatekeeper – Two at Wheldrake on the 16th followed by singles at Bank Island on the 16th and 22nd, with two there on the 25th.  

Speckled Wood – Three at Skipwith Common on the 6th, four at Wheldrake on the 29th and two there on the 30th.  

Large Skipper – Four at Skipwith Common on the 6th, one at Bank Island on the 16th.


DRAGONFLIES: 

Brown Hawker – The first of the year was present at Wheldrake Ings on the 4th, several individuals were seen by the pool there on the 13th followed by one on the 16th, three on the 23rd and two on the 29th. 

Emperor – Two at Wheldrake on the 18th. 

Four-spotted Chaser – One at Wheldrake on the 18th. 

Black-tailed Skimmer – One at Wheldrake on the 18th. 

Common Darter – One at Skipwith Common on the 6th followed by two at Wheldrake on the 13th. 

Ruddy Darter – Two at Skipwith Common on the 6th. 

Emerald – 10+ at Skipwith Common on the 6th. 

Common Blue – Present at Bank Island and Wheldrake Ings throughout the month. 

Banded Demoiselle – Good numbers present at Bank Island and Wheldrake Ings throughout the month.


REPTILES/AMPHIBIANS:


Common Frog – One at Wheldrake on the 13th, the NNR base on the 19th and Bank Island on the 24th.


OTHERS: 

Harlequin Ladybird (H.spectabilis) – One at Wheldrake on the 13th. 

14-spot Ladybird – One at Wheldrake on the 18th.


No comments:

Post a Comment