Blog Archive (22) Posts Made in July 2010
Saturday, July 31st 2010
Eco club was followed by the annual Friends and Volunteers summer BBQ which was a great success despite the threat of rain. Namik and Damon did us all proud once again and our visitors departed replete (and in many cases with a doggy bag)!
Thanks to everyone involved and in particular Stan and Amy for running the raffle. We are grateful for all the support.
Saturday, July 31st 2010
The Eco club members were lucky enough to learn from local entomologists Dr Roger and Rosie Key at today's session. The group went on a minibeast safari and found around fifty species of invertabrates.
Roger's enthusiasm inspired the youngsters as he identified finds such as froghoppers, spiders and grasshoppers.
A Great Crested Newt was also seen on the heathland whilst out discovering.
Saturday, July 31st 2010
Ladies from Easingwold U3A group came for a guided walk around the reserve today. They were most interested in the amount of wild flowers they could find. Amongst the ones they identified were Gipsywort, Hemp Agrimony and Betony.
These photos, however, are from things they didn't get to see! The first is of Wild Carrot which is in flower in the back garden of the Field Centre. This tall umbellifer often has a red central flower. Of those in the back garden there are three flowers which have this trait. We are not aware that Wild Carrot is anywhere else on the reserve. Let us know if you see it somewhere else!
This second photo is of a beautiful Robin's Pincushion. These galls only appear on roses and are made by tiny wasps which lay eggs within the stem and then the rose reacts to this by making the pincushion shape. They are always this colour.
Friday, July 30th 2010
As you can see, the work on the new hide continues apace. The inside is almost finished and is looking very spacious indeed.
Meanwhile, on the outside the cedar shingles on the roof look beautiful too as this photo from the tower hide shows.
Female Ruddy Darter
Thursday, July 29th 2010
Up on the wetland today there were lots of damselflies and dragonflies darting around.
This picture from Elizabeth shows a female Ruddy Darter, which had just emerged from its larval state.
Wednesday, July 28th 2010
Our five jacob sheep have been taken away to be sheared. They will be back later in the week with twenty of their friends!
Meanwhile the volunteers did a huge clear up of thistles and reeds in preparation for their return. It is hoped that the sheep will keep the new shoots grazed off and improve the wetland habitat.
Ringing at Marne
Sunday, July 25th 2010
The bird ringers have been really busy today and with CES day 9 tomorrow, it isn't over yet! On Friday night several of the group members caught and ringed over 100 Sand Martins at Scorton Quarry.
This morning the group went to Marne Barracks training area and set up mist nets at dawn. It was well worth the effort as you can see in Paul's photos.
This young Sparrowhawk was caught early on in the day and throughout the morning no less than five juvenile Kingfishers were intercepted briefly as they passed along the River Swale!
Other species ringed included Whitethroat (seen here in John's photo), Blackcap, Willow Warbler and Goldcrest.
In fact, as James pointed out, the 'rarest' bird of the day (as only one was caught) was a Chaffinch!
Thursday, July 22nd 2010
Earlier in the year we were delighted to receive an invitation for 21 July to one of HM The Queen's garden parties at Buckingham Palace. As you can see, yesterday was a really sunny and hot day in the palace grounds. This group shot was taken in the rose garden.
The trip was in recognition of the commitment and industry that is reflected on the reserve at Foxglove. Diane deals with a tremendous amount of administrative work behind the scenes and Elizabeth is more or less a full time voluntary member of staff and has just worked for six consecutive days (including a 4am start for CES on Sunday)! It was a fun experience enjoyed by us all and we are extremeley grateful to the members of the Management Group for enabling this visit and to Emma and Tom who 'held the fort' while we were away!
Here you can see Elizabeth on the lawn waiting for Tolly to bring the ball back.
Wednesday, July 21st 2010
The latest rain has suited some of the species on the reserve! The damp weather has encouraged lots of fungi to fruit. This Pleated Inkcap was photographed by Michaela at the weekend. It has been seen here before but not recently. This small, delicate inkcap (Parasola plicatilis) is shaped like a Japanese parasol.
The most common of the British stinkhorns (Phallus impudicus) can also be seen (and smelled unfortunately)! around the site too.
This beautiful red slug was also enjoying the weekend rain!
Beginners Wildflower Walk
Saturday, July 17th 2010
The second of our wildflower walks was held today in conjunction with Plantlife (Wild about Plants). The weather held off until the end, by this time a total of 86 species of flowering plant had been identified.
These included Red Bartsia, Common Spotted Orchid and Red Campion.
This stunning spider was found on some Common Sorrel by the lake and is yet to be identified, ideas on a postcard please!
Saturday, July 17th 2010
Some of the Foxglove team took part in the annual Warcop walk across the fells on Friday. The weather was better than expected and certainly an improvement on last years (the wettest day of 2009)!
The route was over the limestone pavement above the range impact area and east over Musgrave Fell.
Thursday, July 15th 2010
On Wednesday 14th some of the ringers were involved with climbing instructors from the Joint Services Mountain Training Wing who descended into the Gannet colony beneath the sheer cliffs at Bempton in East Yorkshire.
Under the umbrella of the RSPB and sponsored by the government, satellite trackers were fitted to several breeding adults giving immediate information on the movements of these birds as they flew out to sea. The project is part of a huge expansion in the 'renewable energy' wind pylons which the Crown Estates are sanctioning in the sea around the UK. As many as 7000 pylons may be erected in the area off Bempton near Dogger Bank and it is essential to know the feeding flight patterns of these very specialised birds before final permission to proceed is granted.
Sadly, due to reserve sensitivities and local politics it was not possible to involve more people from Foxglove, but Foxglove produced the resolution to the problem of getting the birds tagged and we await the outcome with interest. The trackers are fitted on the tails of the birds and cost £1200 each! More information will be passed on as it becomes available. Pictured is a lone tagged Gannet preparing to launch itself back to sea with the catching team in the background, an untagged Gannet and 'H' and Andy going over the edge into the colony below!
For more information on this particular project go to:
Thursday, July 15th 2010
The new hide came on in leaps and bounds today. Here you can see the roof timbers being installed. Tonight the structure was watertight and is now awaiting completion next week, when the inside will be lined and the cedar shingles will be put on the roof.
The hide is not accessible until the next phase is completed over the next few weeks.
Children from Leyburn Community Primary School came for the day and not only were well behaved but had enquiring and inquisitive minds too. During their minibeast hunting part of the group found a colourful fly called Calocoris stysi which is a new species to the reserve!
Garden Tiger Moth
Wednesday, July 14th 2010
Last night's moth trapping was very successful. The most spectacular of our catch was this Garden Tiger moth. This, once widespread, moth is now declining in numbers, possibly due to climate change.
Up on the moorland there are hundreds of orchids out in flower. Elizabeth's photo shows how beautiful they are.
One of the other raised fen areas we have is covered in this liverwort. We don't know which one as yet, but if we find out, we'll let you know.
Trevor and his team were hard at work today putting in the base of the new hide. As you can see it is going to be very large! The walls are being installed and the roof should be on by tomorrow.
This fabulous lichen is hanging from the branch of a Larch. In the damp weather today it was looking very fresh and shaggy.
Lastly, this delicate fungus was seen late this afternoon growing out of a Hazel branch. We will attempt to identify it for your edification.
Large Emerald moths
Tuesday, July 13th 2010
Up on the wetland this fantastic seed head is of the Branched Bur-reed.
Late yesterday afternoon there were lots of moths on the outside of the Field Centre. As well as Garden Carpet, Green Carpet, Purple Bar and Miller there were two Large Emerald moths.
The second photo was taken looking straight down as the moth was resting on the vertical rails of the veranda. He looks like he's wearing green knee britches above white legs and feet!
Today the volunteers were hard at work clearing an area of Silver Birch.
This morning Bob and John saw the Dark Green Fritillary whilst doing the butterfly transect on the moorland.
The Honeybees walking group came this morning for a guided walk around the reserve. Sophie made sure that they saw every corner and glade!
The Dales School did some pond-dipping and found a Great Diving Beetle nymph, Pea Mussels, leeches and plenty of sticklebacks.
Coffee morning at Bedale
Saturday, July 10th 2010
Ten volunteers turned up bright and early at Bedale this morning to help out at our fund-raising coffee morning. The day was bright and sunny and there were plenty of home-made cakes and scones to tempt people into parting with their money.
Here you can see Tony, Lilian and Lesley in fine form on the tea and cake table.
There was plenty to do - from drumming up customers from the carboot sale to manning the raffle stall, from clearing tables to washing up. Everyone had a smile and at the end of the morning Foxglove was richer by the amount of £205.40p.
Well done and Thank You to everyone who helped on the day and to those who donated items for the raffle or who baked us delicious food to sell. Thanks also to Elizabeth for manning the fort back at the reserve whilst we were away.
We couldn't have done it without you all!
Plenty to see
Friday, July 9th 2010
Although it has been quite windy today there has still been plenty to see.
This beauty is Tufted Vetch. It's currently brightening up the long grass all over the reserve with its bright, showy flowers.
The Meadow Brown butterflies are fluttering through the grasses everywhere.
There are Blue-tailed and Common Blue Damselflies wherever there is water.
This afternoon has been spent getting things ready for our morning of fund-raising at Bedale tomorrow. We will be running a Coffee Morning at the Chantry House from 9 o'clock tomorrow until lunchtime. Please come along and support us by having a cup of tea or coffee and maybe buying some of the home-made cakes we will have there.
Thursday, July 8th 2010
The Blackneck moth seen here has now been confirmed by Charlie. This is a new record not only for Foxglove but for VC65 (our recording area). Until now, this moth was usually found south of the Yorkshire border. Another first for Foxglove!
Sandra and David from the Richmond Beekeepers were here to remove some excess stored syrup from the observation bee hive. This gives the honey bees more vital space as the young queen bee is now laying eggs and the workers need to be kept busy. The bees are thriving and did surprisingly well to survive the last harsh winter. There is now a limited stock of local honey available to purchase from the Field Centre for only £4.50 per jar.
Wednesday, July 7th 2010
There were over 30 species of moth in the moth trap this morning. There were lots of familiar species such as Burnished Brass, Purple Clay, Elephant Hawkmoth and Peppered Moth. However, there were some new ones too. One of these was Scallop Shell, a beautiful moth with numerous, tightly-packed, contoured brown wavy crosslines. The other has been identified as a Blackneck (this is yet to be confirmed). The list of total species on the reserve is now almost 2000.
Pupils from Wavell Primary School came to Foxglove to learn about flowers and bees with Kate from Plantlife as part of the 'Wild About Plants' Bee Scene project. The children made a bumblebee to take home and carried out a bumblebee survey. They found plenty of wildflowers and the results of their survey showed that Foxglove Covert is a very good area for bumblebees! More information on this project is available from the Wild About Plants website: www.wildaboutplants.org.uk
Some of the flowers on the Bee Scene list are shown here on Elizabeth's photos. They are Zigzag Clover, Oxeye Daisy and Common Cat's-ear.
A couple of quick reminders. There will be a Foxglove coffee morning on Saturday in Bedale and we will be grateful of any help. This could be on the day making teas and coffees or providing some cakes to sell on the day. Please get in touch if you are able to lend a hand.
Secondly, could parents of children who attend eco-club please get in touch about the next few events as we have added some to the diary.
Dark Green Fritillary
Tuesday, July 6th 2010
Swaledale Beaver Group came for an evening walk around the reserve yesterday. They spotted lots of flowers as well as beetles and spiders. They all enjoyed their walk along the beck.
This Dark Green Fritillary was spotted by Elizabeth basking on the bare ground of the wetland today.
Friday, July 2nd 2010
The contractors were working as fast as possible today in the heat. You can see them working on the boardwalk and the dipping platform. Although they have got a lot of work completed the walkway remains closed all the way through. You can however have access part of the way to go and see what has been taking place. They will be back on Monday to finish off.
The next photo (courtesy of Elizabeth) is of a new species found on the reserve. These are the flowers of Bittersweet or Woody Nightshade. It is the first time this flower has been seen. The green berries you can see forming will eventually turn bright red by the autumn.
A Giant Wood Wasp or Horntail was seen flying between the panels of the new wetland screen. This huge insect, around two inches in length, gave quite a shock as it came flying around the corner. This wasp in not at all harmful to people and can stay as a grub for up to four years. The long 'tail' is not a sting but is an ovipositor which drills into wood to lay eggs. There is a possibility that it has hatched out of the new timbers! Watch out for it up there along with the Broad-bodied Chaser Dragonfly which was again seen hawking along the ponds!
Mike, Tony and a dam!
Thursday, July 1st 2010
Yesterday was particularly busy here. As well as seventeen men working on the scrapes boardwalk there was a guided walk for 14 staff members from Headquarters, North East Region, Army Primary Health Care Service based in the Duchess of Kent Barracks. You see them here at the end of their walk aound the reserve.
Meanwhile…. Mike and Tony came to volunteer for the day and spent their time messing about in the stream, building a dam! This little beck has a feeder pipe which fills a pond lower down and was always getting washed out. They have now made a permanent solution. Very pretty indeed!
The moth trap yielded 44 species of moth. These included Light Emerald, Mottled Beauty, Gold Spot and Bloodvein. After a poor start to the year with the moth trapping, this last couple of weeks has seen us back on form with a good catch each week.
The men from Playscheme, who are re-newing our boardwalk, were today screwing in the boards of the decking. The last of the concrete was poured and they are on schedule for finishing tomorrow.