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Ringathon!

Wednesday, August 12th 2020

The bird ringers have just completed a four day ringing course with some guest bird ringers from the South of England. The team went to various local sites as well as spending a day at Foxglove and as usual, there were some real surprises in store. The biggest of which was catching a Fieldfare as at this time of year they should all be in Scandinavia! Fieldfares are large, colourful thrushes, much like a mistle thrush in general size, shape and behaviour. They are very social birds, spending the winter in flocks of anything from a dozen or two to several hundred strong. These noisy flocks over farmland are usually a winter scene in the UK.

It was an adult male so has it just arrived early (they usually arrive from October onwards) or could it have overwintered in the UK? There was much discussion amongst the team members however, we may never find out!

Other highlights included some young Tree Pipits that were caught on the Catterick Training Area.

They are very similar to Meadow Pipits but, on close inspection, may be distinguished by their heavier bill, shorter hind claw and fine streaking on the flank - they also have very different calls. Widespread summer visitors to the UK, they occur in particularly high densities in Western uplands. Their population has undergone declines over the past 25 years, especially in central and southern England so it was good to find a few.

Another summer visitor, the Redstart, can be seen in the UK from April to October.  It is included on the Amber List of species with unfavourable conservation status in Europe where it is declining. This juvenile was ringed during the weekend course.

In the photograph below you can see the striking red tail feathers.

However, in terms of look there was competition from a male Redpoll still in its breeding plumage! This tiny finch - only slightly bigger than a blue tit - is streaky and brown with patches of red on its head and sometimes its breast. They like to hang upside down to feed in trees. 

This Whitethroat was a different bird for the group to see as they are not found at the reserve. Whitethroats are medium-sized warblers, about the size of a great tit. They have quite a long tail which they flick as they dart rapidly in and out of cover. They are summer visitors and passage migrants, with birds breeding widely, although they avoid urban and mountainous areas. They spend their winters in Africa, south of the Sahara.

It was a successful few days with well over 300 birds being ringed in total and a great learning opportunity for the bird ringers to enjoy. Thank you to everyone involved in whatever way from strimming and pruning net rides and filling bird feeders to providing essential chocolate and ringing the birds!

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Wildlife Photography

Tuesday, August 11th 2020

The team at Foxglove are so busy that they rarely have time to stop and take photographs so it is always a treat when visitors share theirs. George Bond spent some time in the scrapes area on his visit and has very kindly shared these stunning pictures of young toads and frogs. 

We are always grateful of photographs which can be used for the website, social media, displays in the Field Centre and calendars and leaflets and give credit to the photographers.

These are so beautiful that we had to share them!

If you have any pictures that you are happy for us to use please email them to us at foxglovecovertlnr@btinternet.com (for the blog they need to be at least 2mb).

Thank you again to George and keep up the good work!
 

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Minibeast Safaris

Thursday, August 6th 2020

'Family bubble' minibeast safaris have been taking place this week. Much fun has been had searching around the outdoor classroom for invertebrates such as spiders, worms, woodlice, slugs and snails! 

Other finds included frogs and newts. 

If you would like to have a go then there are still limited sessions available to book on 12th August, for more details please see the events page.

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Important Information

Thursday, August 6th 2020

Government guidelines mean that anyone using the Field Centre from Saturday 8th August must wear a mask. Please bring one with you if you intend to come inside.

Thank you for your understanding.

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Ducks!

Tuesday, August 4th 2020

The clearing of the duck trap by volunteers paid off and already three young Mallards have been caught and ringed. They were fitted with a BTO ring then weighed and their wing measurements were taken before they were released back onto the lake.

This brings the total of Mallards ringed at the reserve to 15.

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Help Support Foxglove

Friends of Foxglove

The Friends of Foxglove Covert is for those individuals, families and organisations who would like to support the reserve through an annual membership subscription. Friends receive a regular newsletter and invitations to attend our various activities and social events.

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Upcoming Events


Minibeast Safari 2

Wednesday 12th August 2020 | Various time slots available

Come along and find out which minibeasts are living in some of the habitats at Foxglove. Book a minibeast session for your family bubble of up to six people. There will be a socially distanced brief to set you off and then you can use the equipment for the remainder of the session. You will be requested to use hand gel on arrival and the equipment will be cleaned between sessions. Please call the Reserve Managers on 07754 270980 to book your allocated slot. You are advised to arrive 15 minutes before your allocated time. A donation in advance (card payment by phone) of £5 per family bubble is required in order to secure your booking. 



Family Pond Dipping 3

Wednesday 19th August 2020 | 45 minute sessions on the hour

Come along and find out which animals are living in some of the Foxglove ponds. Book a pond dipping session for your family bubble of up to six people. There will be a socially distanced brief to set you off and then you can use the equipment for the remainder of the session. You will be requested to use hand gel on arrival and the net handles will be cleaned between sessions. Please call the Reserve Managers on 07754 270980 to book your allocated slot. You are advised to arrive 15 minutes before your allocated time. A donation in advance (card payment by phone) of £5 per family bubble is required in order to secure your booking.  There will be a socially distanced brief to set you off and then you can use the equipment for the remainder of the session. You will be requested to use hand gel on arrival and the net handles will be cleaned between sessions. Please call the Reserve Managers on 07754 270980 to book your allocated slot. You are advised to arrive 15 minutes before your allocated time. A donation in advance (card payment by phone) of £5 per family bubble is required in order to secure your booking. 



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Undergrowth Newsletter




The Dragonflies of Strensall and Foxglove Covert
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This book has been published with the aim of enabling people visiting these, immensely important Flagship Pond Sites in North Yorkshire, to identify the dragonflies and damselflies they encounter - by reference to a simple text and photographs. Credits - Yorkshire Dragonfly Group & Freshwater Habitats Trust

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