Today (February 2nd) is World Wetlands Day, and the Lower Derwent Valley National Nature Reserve’s, birds are showing up in wetlands around the globe. World Wetlands Day marks the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands in 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar, and is celebrated annually, this being its 40th Anniversary.

As the world marks the importance of wetland areas everywhere, Natural England explains how birds recorded at the internationally important Lower Derwent Valley NNR are also turning up in 26 other countries. Remarkable bird journeys link communities across Europe and Africa, and bring home the importance of sharing responsibilities of bird conservation

'Wally the Whimbrel' is a bird who has come to symbolise flights across the globe having recently been tracked by radio transmitter as far as Guinea Bissau on the west coast of Africa. Shoveler ducks ringed at the reserve have been found in Archangel, on the northern coast of Russia.

Natural England are also marking the day by opening their new reserve office. The new office base overlooking the reserve will enable schools and the local community to learn more about resident and visiting wildlife and the internationally significant wetlands of the reserve. The new building was formally opened by the Lord Mayor and Sheriff of York today.

Cllr. Susan Galloway, The Lord Mayor of York, said “ The Lower Derwent Valley is York’s natural equivalent of York Minster – and an internationally important and much-loved asset of which we are very proud. We are committed to playing our part on the world stage by looking after its future and on behalf of the City of York I send our good wishes to colleagues through the world with whom we share a common responsibility."

More details about the event and some species specific details can be found on my blog.

Several events are taking place at Wheldrake Ings over the coming weekend.