Blog Archive (22) Posts Made in June 2019


Interesting Information

Sunday, June 30th 2019

The first call this morning was not for a bird but a flower.  Eleanor had spotted a Bee Orchid.  To say that we were surprised is putting it mildly.  This is the first ever Bee Orchid found on the reserve.  How it has arrived where it has arrived will lead to much discussion.

After this excitement we returned to main event of the day, CES 6.  It has been said before that bird ringing is not a numbers game, but the numbers caught do give indications of the populations of the species within the reserve.  For several outings very few Bullfinches were seen, never mind caught but today 30 were newly ringed, which brings the total for the last few months to 121.  I think from this we can assume they have had a good breeding season and are doing well.

Tawny Owls are usually ringed in the nest boxes, but there are always exceptions to the rule and over CES 5 and 6 we have processed three.  Another call over the radio was to inform us that a female Sparrowhawk was in the net and would arrive shortly in the ringing room.  Females are much bigger than males and tend to bounce out of the net.  She is the only female caught in six years. 

A juvenile Linnet received its ring and again it is the first for six years.

Redpolls can be seen in large numbers during the late winter but they then disperse for the breeding season.  It was a surprise to see our first juvenile.

Careful planning between net rounds allowed the bird ringers to ring the Barn Owl chicks.  As with all owls the eggs are brooded as soon as they are laid so the young hatch at different times. You can see that the eldest chick is beginning to show its feathers through the down, whilst the youngest is still covered in down.  All four young were well fed, so the parents have been successful in finding plenty of food.

The vounteers had worked hard to ensure that the net rides were in perfect condition for CES 6.  This was much appreciated by the bird ringers.  Thank you also to John, Ken and Linda for their invaluable help during the day. 

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Butterflies

Saturday, June 29th 2019

Data from all the bird ringing activities is sent to the BTO.  Information from the moth trapping goes to the VC65 recorder.  'Dragon and Damsel' (dragonflies and damselflies) sightings are forwarded to the appropriate person.  And talking of sightings, a Banded Demoiselle was seen in the Scrapes.  If you see it then please let the reserve managers know, as we are still trying to obtain a photograph of it.  This is a new species for the reserve.

Butterflies are also monitored and results of transects and first and last sightings are collated to be registered with the various butterfly conservation organisations.  Catherine, Christine and Tim were out on Friday walking around the whole of the reserve.

A Holly Blue was spotted but it fluttered away before a photograph could be taken.  We do not get many records of this butterfly at Foxglove, even though we have plenty of Holly and Ivy on which the larvae feed.  Spindle is also a possible food source.  These two photographs were taken in a town garden and help to illustrate the differences between it and a Common Blue.

Common Blue was also added to the list.  The colour differences and the underwing pattern can be compared.

There had also been a recent hatch of Large Skipper butterflies.  These can often be seen feeding from thistles.

Many people have commented on the large number of Painted Lady Butterflies seen in Foxglove.  These are migrants coming from the desert fringes of North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia.  Some are looking in very poor condition after their long journey, whilst others are pristine.  They will breed during our summer and the adults will hatch out to feed on many flowers in the autumn but they are unable to survive our winters.

Many thanks to the 'butterfly team' for carrying out the butterfly survey.

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Spigot Mere

Friday, June 28th 2019

There were three Oystercatchers walking along the banks of Spigot Mere.  Their voices can usually be heard across the reserve.

By mid afternoon this number had grown to at least 12.  They were calling quietly to each other.

A little later on the group had grown to 13 as they flew over Plover's Pool towards the wetland.

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Come Rain or Shine

Thursday, June 27th 2019

Throughout the week, no matter what the weather, volunteers have been hard at work on the reserve. Team Tuesday repaired the main access track by filling in the potholes that had been caused by the recent rain.


As usual, many hands made light work and the job was completed in no time at all. Volunteers also pruned back branches from trails and pulled thistles from one of the orchards.

Team Wednesday, caught and identified many moths, updated displays and recorded flowers.

If you would like to learn more about moths then you are welcome to join the group for the event next Wednesday morning.

Today, in searing temperatures, team Thursday have been mowing, strimming and pruning in preparation for the CES bird ringing at the weekend. Thank you to everyone who has helped out, the reserve would not be the same without you!

A new species was observed this afternoon, a striking male Banded Demoiselle was seen fluttering over the scrapes. It was too quick for the camera however, a Great Diving Beetle was photographed basking in the sunshine on a water vole feeding raft!

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Moths, Hipswell and Flowers

Wednesday, June 26th 2019

The moth traps were set last night, and for the first time we could set one away from the Field Centre.  We have kept a record of which moths we have caught in which place and this information will be added to the data when it is entered into the Species Programme.  From both traps we caught some lovely specimens.

We only caught a single Small Angle Shades moth, but it co-operated beautifully when released from the container to be photographed.  The larvae feed on Bracken and other ferns, something to look out for.

The moth team use a book that has painted pictures of the moths that are actual size.  This means we can place the insect directly on top of its picture to help in ID, as if they do 'not fit' then the chances are that it is not the right one.  Last week we struggled to ID one.  We eventually decided that it was Yellow Horned, but further investigation revealed that this large moth was actually Pale Tussock, but it was a little large for its picture.  This week we caught another Pale Tussock and it decided to sit like a butterfly just to make ID a bit more interesting!

It is not often that we see the underwings but these were just too beautiful to ignore, so another photo of Pale Tussock - which we should remember next week!

Blood-vein moth is more common in the south but we do catch several in a season.  Freshly hatched moths have very red markings, as they age so the colour fades.

Hipswell C of E Primary School visited Foxglove.  They pond dipped and found snails, Diving Beetle Larvae, damselfly larvae and Three-Spined Sticklebacks.  They also caught some very small Pond Skaters.  The water was very cold and many of the pond creatures were obviously in hiding.

Minibeast hunting found slugs and the children soon realised that this damp weather was just right for slugs.  The habitat walk took in comifer trees, deciduous trees, coppicing and pollarding.  They had just started to learn about seed dispersal and were able to see a variety of seeds and discuss how they were dispersed.

Out on a walk across the moor in the late afternoon a movement saw a Chimney Sweeper Moth flying.  It settled long enough for a photograph to be taken.   This one was newly hatched as it was black, and the white edging could clearly be seen.  The larvae feed on Pignut, of which there is plenty growing across the moor.

Flowers are still coming into bloom and the flower walk recorded over 70 flowers including Foxgloves

and Zig-Zag Clover.

And then it has to be 'And finally'.  On my way out I stopped to talk to Lark and Taurus.  Lark enjoyed my chatter and even laughed at my jokes!

Thank you to everyone today who were involved in so many different activities.  Our volunteers are very special and we appreciate all their skills.

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Cape Wrath Capers!

Tuesday, June 25th 2019

Sporting their matching green wellies, some members from the Swaledale Ringing team are exploring the coast on the most North Westerly tip of Scotland. They are on a ringing expedition to the MoD bombardment ranges in Cape Wrath. Today they have been ringing Sand Martins in the sand dunes.

The Sand Martins are caught using mist nets which are placed in front of the dunes (in between poles) in order to catch the adults as they fly to and from their sandy burrows.

The team have ringed plenty of birds so far although some, such as these Buzzard chicks, appear to be a bit 'late' this year and are too small to be fitted with a BTO ring. At least they have a surplus supply of food to help them grow.

Kittiwake are also 'behind' compared to previous years with many of the adults still on eggs.

The list of species ringed is extensive and includes Cormorant, Heron, Sand Martin, Common Tern, Black Headed Gull, Herring Gull and Skylark (shown below).

Tonight, the ringers are catching Storm Petrels and will be working throughout the night (it is only dark for a couple of hours at this time of the year), photographs to follow later in the week. In the mean time, here is a photo of Jack in a tree, captions on a postcard please! 

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Out and About

Sunday, June 23rd 2019

Over the last few days the weather has been warm and so the invertebrates have been more visible.  A damselfly was sitting on a leaf and stayed there for a photograph.

Some way from the ponds, up the middle moor path, this Broad Bodied Chaser landed on a convenient piece of vegetation.

A Four Spotted Chaser was hiding away in the grass.

Across the moor the Germander Speedwell is in flower forming blue carpets.

After the rain the Cotton Grass looked very sorry for itself and hopes of seeing the white fluffy tops faded, but nature does have a way of recovering and soon the tiny seeds were being carried away on the gentle breeze.

 Checking on the ponies I spotted Taurus enjoying some food, unfortunately it was not Gorse or Willow or Rush but a change of diet - Dog Daisies!

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Middle Moor

Saturday, June 22nd 2019

Our Middle Moor has come a long way since it 'joined' the reserve.  It was rough pasture but our four Highlanders started the work to improve it.  To say that they were characters is putting it mildly.  It was very rare that you could manage to get all four in one photo and if they were all looking at you that was certainly a step in the right direction, 

as usually there was at least one bottom in the photograph!

Their presence on the moor removed much of the rough vegetation.  In time they actually did themselves out of a job and they started to do more damage than good so a new home was found for them.

By that time we had replanted the ancient hedgelines across the moor, fenced so the Highlanders could not damage the young saplings.  These are now growing well and enhance the moor and provide yet more habitats at Foxglove.  In the photo above you can see the new fence.

The next step was to plant Yellow Rattle plug plants.  Each year we walk the moor from February, as by then we really want to see some new growth, looking for the tiny seedlings, but we have to wait until March for them to appear.

We breathe a sigh of relief in April, as the leaves can be found across the moor.

May sees the first flower.

Yellow Rattle is semi-parasitic on certain grasses and this reduces the amount of grass so that other flowers can flourish.  Lousewort and Cowslips bloomed in spring.  Now Wood Geranium can be seen.

Buttercups, Eyebright, Fairy Flax, Dog Daisies, Common Bird's-foot Trefoil are flourishing, along with Rye Grass, Yorkshire Fog and some other grasses.  In the sunshine it is alive with buzzing bees.  Red Clover is essential for some bees.  This one has a long proboscis that was reaching inside the tube of the flower.

Our middle moor is now a beautiful flower rich meadow. 

It is a fantastic habitat for many invertebrates.  Moths and butterflies frequent the nectar rich flowers.  Painted Ladies were flitting quickly across the moor, not settling on a conveniently close flower long enough for a photograph, but this newly emerged Meadow Brown was much more co-operative.

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Orchids and Owls

Friday, June 21st 2019

There have never been so many orchids growing at Foxglove Covert before. They have spread to nearly every corner of the reserve and several places have so many that it would be difficult to walk there without damaging them. Some of the footpath edges have not been strimmed due to the presence of these stunning flowers.

Although mainly Northern Marsh and Common Spotted there are hybrids too and the colours vary from bright pink to purple. It is well worth a visit to see them and many are alongside the trails.

Off the beaten track, Marsh Cinquefoil grows in one of the UK Flagship ponds. It is a good source of food for nectar-loving insects, such as bees and hoverflies. It is one of a number of cinquefoils, but is unique in the UK as the only one with deep magenta flowers - the rest have yellow flowers. It is a member of the rose family.

lt can be identified by its magenta, star-shaped flowers (the red 'petals' are actually sepals) and the pinkish tinge to its green parts. Its leaves are divided into five long lobes with toothed margins.

The last brood of Pied Flycatchers for this breeding season were ringed this evening. There were five healthy chicks and both adults were keeping an eye on the proceedings! On the way home from the woodland this Little Owl was spotted by the roadside. A rare sight these days.

A team from the Swaledale Ringing Team are heading North to Cape Wrath today on a bird ringing expedition. So far they have ringed Curlew, Cormorants, Herring Gulls and a staggering eighty-three Common Tern chicks. Photographs will follow when wifi allows! 

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Sunshine At Last!

Thursday, June 20th 2019

What a difference the weather can make! The reserve is awash with colour as many wildflowers are at their best during this month. Yellow Iris (also known as Flag Iris or Water Flag) is growing on the lakeside close to the hides adding a welcome splash of brightness!

Staff and volunteers could enjoy getting on with some outdoor tasks without waterproofs for a change. Chaff (waste from Combine Harvesters) was sieved before it was added to large bird feeders. Whilst sifting through the stems and seeds many snail shells were discovered. Nicola had fun identifying which species they were; Three Banded and Seven Banded seemed to be top of the list.

The ground was cleared around the bases of the large wooden hoppers and they were repaired where necessary too. The sieved seeds were then added; these are especially good for finches such as Chaffinch and Bullfinch.

Volunteers also helped with maintaining the aquariums in the classroom, providing fresh water for the ponies, installing new signs, fixing tools, reparing footpaths and strimming. As always, this help is much appreciated.

A little less busy, Lark and Taurus made the most of the dry weather by basking in the warm sunshine and watching the world go by. It's a tough life!

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Welcome to The World!

Wednesday, June 19th 2019

Whilst out checking nest boxes, members of the Swaledale Ringing team discovered these newly hatched Curlew chicks. They were still in their nest on the ground with the empty egg shells! They have done well to survive out on the open moor in the recent heavy rainfall.

Next, two young Kestrel chicks were ringed. Their primary and tail feathers were just beginning to emerge through their fluffy down. The already sharp talons are a great reminder that in a few weeks time these stunning birds of prey will be out hunting in order to survive.

Back on the reserve, Little Ringed Plover and House Martins were observed feeding at Spigot Mere. The Wednesday volunteers were busy identifying hundreds of moths from the moth trap. A real highlight was this Eyed Hawkmoth Smerinthus ocellata. You can just make out the bright blue eye-spots on the pink hindwings. When disturbed, it exposes these and sways to and fro in order to deter predators. All together eighty-six moths of forty different species were recorded.

A surprise find was in the moth trap was a Cockchafer, also known as the May-bug Melolontha melolontha. These large beetles belong to the scarab family. The adults are 2.5-3cm long, and are common. The name cockchafer means 'big beetle' in Old English.  This is another new species for the reserve.


Further discoveries were made by people attending the pond-dipping event.  Adult Pond Skaters were caught.  These are voracious  carnivores and pounce on any insect that lands on the water surface.

Thank you too to all of the volunteers who have been to the reserve this week. Lots of strimming, pruning and maintenance has been carried out as well as lots of work on the species. A butterfly transect resulted in an inpressive list including: Common Blue, Painted Lady, Brimstone, Peacock, Large White, Small White and Wall. Red Admiral were also observed earlier in the week. 

Finally, a heartfelt thank you to all of the children and staff in Year 6 from Hipswell C of E Primary School for their beautiful, well written thank you cards which are now on display in the Field Centre.

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A School Visit

Monday, June 17th 2019

Year 5 from Hipswell Primary School visited Foxglove today.  Their activities included pond dipping, a minibeast hunt and habitat walk.  Damselfly larvae, tadpoles, 3 Spined Sticklebacks and Pond Snails were dipped from the ponds.  The minibeast hunt revealed centipedes, woodlice, slugs and earthworms on the now damp ground and under the logs.  A very large beetle was found, but its name as yet is not confirmed.  It is a carnivore as you can see from its large jaws.

Sweep netting on the moor saw many flies of varying sizes and colours caught.  Very tiny beetles that looked like weevils were plentiful as were green flower bugs.  A Common Malachite beetle (hope the ID is correct!) made a splash of colour. 

Bees were also caught but released immediately!  Froghoppers and grasshoppers hopped about.  A crab spider took the opportunity to have an easy meal of an insect in the net.

So that the children could see other habitats we walked down to Risedale Beck via the ponies.   Eagle eyes soon spotted other bugs and beasties.  This Cardinal beetle was not camouflaged, but bright red, to act as a warning to predators to keep away.

Cucumber Spiders are green and often blend in well with the background they are on. 

The children showed their knowledge of carnivores and herbivores, camouflage and warning colours.  A hover fly was studied as it looked like a wasp and the children decided that this was to keep it safe as it would warn predators that it was dangerous, even though it was not.

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CES 5

Sunday, June 16th 2019

Flaming June failed to live up to its name first thing this morning and the bird ringers were pleased to have a hot cup of tea waiting for them as they arrived back from raising the nets.  It was good to see that many Great Tits, 36, ringed in the nest box have fledged successfully, despite the wet and cold weather.  Bullfinches were also in abundance.  Goldfinch are feeding from the Nyger feeders in the back garden and 12 adults were newly ringed.  No juveniles yet.

A rare catch for the garden net, was a juvenile Grey Wagtail.

The weather forecast kept changing with rain due to arrive at 12, but it did not.  Throughout the day it was dull, then sunny, warm and then cold, but we completed CES 5 before the rain came down.  Thank you to everyone who helped.

John was out and about first thing and spotted the Little Grebes having a fight!  The male Tufted Duck decided enough was enough and waded in to sort everyone out!  By mid morning it looked like a truce had been declared as the Tufted Duck and the Little Grebe sat quietly just a little way from each other. 

Spigot Mere has recently been visited by a Shelduck, today it was Little Ringed Plover, photographed by John, another new species for the reserve.

Little Ringed Plover

We are not the only species who use an umbrella, this soldier beetle was hiding under a leaf to escape the overnight downpour.

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Every Little Helps!

Friday, June 14th 2019

Thank you to all of the supporters in the local community who kindly voted for Foxglove in the Bags for Help scheme. As a result, senior staff from Tesco presented Reserve Managers, Management Group members and volunteers with a cheque for £4000.

Our sincere thanks to Tesco Catterick Garrison for this generous grant. This money will go directly towards new interpretation panels and pamphlets to engage the community with their Local Nature Reserve. In spite of the perpetual rain, visitors have recorded Kingfisher and Tufted Duck on the lake and were lucky enough to hear a Cuckoo calling loudly.

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Ponies, Potholes and Perfection!

Tuesday, June 11th 2019

Lark and Taurus, the two Exmoor ponies, have done a great job up at Plover's pool but their 'strimming' services were required eleswhere on the reserve. They were moved to one of the heathland paddocks today in order to manage some of the long grasses that are competing with the heather. Catching them proved to be a lot easier than anticipated, thanks to Emma's carrot sticks! Lark was happier to wear a headcollar than Taurus (on the left) who took a little more persuasion to folllow.

 They behaved exceptionally well on the lead ropes as they wound their way along the woodland footpath between the different habitats.

On arrival at their new field, they had a good run about and tested out their new diet!

They soon settled down and began their important conservation role; to remove unwanted vegetation!

Volunteers helped with many tasks today including clearing the moss from the field centre gutters, planting Globeflowers, strimming footpaths, checking nest boxes and fixing the potholes in the main track. 

Another main challenge was the installation of over twenty new signs to remind visitors that dogs must be kept on leads. This was done with great precision and perfection!

Keeping dogs on leads is especially important at this time of year because there are many species of ground nesting birds on the nature reserve.

Thank you to everyone who helped to make this another productive day, you can see the difference that has been made to both the wildlife habitats and the visitor experience.

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Bugs, Bugs and More Bugs!

Monday, June 10th 2019

Hipswell Primary School visited today.  They had a busy day hunting for minibeasts, pond dipping and then heading off to learn more about the habitats and the plants and animals that live in them.

Out on the moor, sweep netting caught many, many bugs of various sizes, shapes and colours.  Large and small spiders were caught, including this crab spider, so called because it moves just like a crab!

A lacewing was also caught and was released into the grass where a more natural photo could be taken.  Once viewed its brilliant eye is remarkable.  Lacewings look so delicate but this hides the fact that the adult and larvae are carnivores with large jaws.  

Talking of jaws, when pond dipping a Great Diving Beetle adult was caught along with several larvae. The adult is quite capable of flying from pond to pond.

This photo shows those very large jaws.  Obviously they are carnivores and will eat many of the tadpoles in the ponds, along with anything else that moves.  The Pond Snail was a little too large for it to tackle.

As the children walked back to the gate they saw the tadpoles all massed together. 

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All About The Birds

Sunday, June 9th 2019

During the fourth visit of CES bird ringing, there was an unusual find in one of the nets; a juvenile Dipper. These beautiful birds are unique among passerines for their ability to dive and swim underwater. This one must have come from a nest somewhere on the reserve.

The first Curlew chicks of the year have been ringed out on the training area. These are now on the red list. Red is the highest conservation priority, with species needing urgent action. This means that they are classed as an endangered species. Monitoring these young birds will help the BTO to target conservation measures in the future.

Many Kestrel chicks have also been ringed. This species is currently on the amber list as is the Dipper shown at the top of this page.

It was a productive day with over 160 birds ringed in total. The day began at 04:00 hrs as the team have to be up and ready before the dawn chorus! Our sincere thanks to all of the bird ringers and volunteers who made it possible. Scribing, making tea and coffee and helping to tidy up all makes a big difference to the running of the day. The collection of this data about the breeding bird population is extremely valuable for conservation. Finally, a special thank you to Ken and Linda for the amazing pie! 

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Pied Flycatchers, Plovers and Peregrines

Friday, June 7th 2019

With the bird breeding season well under way, members of the Swaledale Ringing Team are never bored! Some of the latest chicks to hatch out in the small nest boxes are the most interesting. Pied Flycatchers are summer visitors that winter in West Africa. They choose to nest in mature Oak woodland and will often make their home in a nestbox. This adult male was observed catching moths and returning to a box to feed them to its young.

The chicks, which appeared on an earlier blog as blue eggs, were just the right size to be ringed. They all appeared to be fit and healthy.

Out on the moor, many waders have had their chicks too. Recently, the first Golden Plover chicks of the year were ringed. These are extremely difficult to spot as they are so well camouflaged that they look just like a piece of Sphagnum Moss. It is hoped that they will survive the torrential rainfall and unusually cool night time temperatures for the time of year.

The team are privileged to monitor Peregrine Falcon nests too. In this one, only one chick was found and it was well developed, perhaps being an 'only child' has its benefits in the raptor world! The dark primary feathers were well formed and it won't be long before this bird can fly.

In another nest, two healthy chicks were discovered, These were much younger and were just the perfect age to be ringed. Here is one of them having been returned to the nest safely. You can just make out the metal BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) ring on its right leg. They are also fitted with orange plastic rings that have black letters on them on the left leg. This enables the individuals to be identified by a bird watcher through a telescope.

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National Volunteers’ Week!

Tuesday, June 4th 2019

Strimming, mowing, repairing, painting, meeting & greeting, baking, surveying, identifying, photographing, bird ringing, recording and updating social media! These are just some of the activities that volunteers get up to at Foxglove, although it is also true that no two days are ever the same! This week has been no exception and as always the Foxglove team are very thankful for all of the help and support that volunteers offer in many different ways. Fixing a picnic bench was one of the jobs on the list today; these kind of tasks save the reserve a lot of money.

With a network of several miles of footpath, repairs are necessary to maintain the trails in tip top condition. The group are a dab hand at this now, come rain or shine! The edging had completely rotted on this section so new boards were installed.

Once again, stone was transported to the site, this is a strenous task (no need for gym membership)! Extra care was needed to avoid trampling on the orchids that are starting to appear almost everywhere.

Here is the end result!

Foxglove's longest standing volunteer was hard at work again tidying the gardens around the field centre and filling bird feeders. So far this year there have been well over 700 volunteer days. If each was paid £50 for a day's work then this would equate to a staggering £35, 000!

Throughout this week (National Volunteer Week) we will be celebrating with regular volunteers in various ways to thank them for all of their efforts. Volunteers don't have the time, they make the time! If you would like to get involved or have a particular interest or skill then please get in touch as with one hundred acres to manage there are always 'things to do'!

Pupils from the Dales School helped out by releasing the tiny froglets from the classroom aquarium back into the wild. It seems that they can jump quite a distance even at this young age! Once fully developed the young frogs sit on the miniature raft in the tank to have a rest from swimming, this makes them easy to catch.

Willow seeds have been blowing all over the reserve and where they have piled up on the paths they resemble a light dusting of snow!

Finally, the display of orchids should be spectacular this summer; this cluster is growing right next to the main access track!

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All About The Bees

Monday, June 3rd 2019

Visitors to the reserve over the last couple of weeks may have heard a strange sound coming from the observation beehive inside the field centre. This was the singing or rather 'piping' of a newly hatched Queen bee who was trying to discover whether or not she was the only one of her kind! However, it transpired that there was a second Queen bee which led to another swarm on Friday afternoon. Here you can see the cluster of bees developing on the outside of the building close to the entrance to the hive.

The beekeepers were quick to respond as usual and came fully equipped with beekeeping suits and a skep to put the honey bees into. 

They were encouraged gently with a soft brush.

Once contained in the special basket, they could be taken away to another hive. Apologies for the somewhat blurry photographs which were taken from a safe distance!

In some ways this was good timing as the Richmond and District Beekeepers' Association (RDBKA) held a two day course at Foxglove over the weekend! 

Does anybody know the collective noun for beekeepers?

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Other Recordings from the Flower Walk

Sunday, June 2nd 2019

Whilst out recording the flowers we did rather get waylaid looking at other things along the way.  Orange Tip Butterfly eggs on Cuckoo Flower are relatively easy to find, now that we know what we are looking for.  With some searching we can now find Brimstone Butterfly eggs on Alder or Alder Buckthorn.  Hopefully we will soon find the caterpillars of both species.

Some, possibly Peacock or Small Tortoiseshell caterpillars, have hatched and are feeding on the Nettles.  In the rain they hide underneath the leaves.

Adder's Tongue Fern grows on the wetland but some years ago we found some growing in another area of the reserve.  Unfortunately it was next to the fence with the camp and for security reasons the area was sprayed with weed killer and the fern disappeared.  Information says that Adder's Tongue is an annual.  Other sources says that it spreads by underground roots.  However it grows, it has re-appeared and is growing strongly.  It is also next to a path so another area that the volunteers who strim the path edges will have to avoid - thank you!

There were not many butterflies flying but we did see a Green Veined White

and a female Orange Tip.

A green beetle was photographed on a dandelion like flower.  So far it has not been identified.

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Flowers Galore!

Saturday, June 1st 2019

Over 70 flowers were recorded during the monthly flower walk.  Thank you to the volunteers who walked around the reserve recording the flowers.  Each flower has to pass the 'flower test'!  This means that it must be open and in flower.

Wild Garlic along Risedale Beck was showing its white flowers.

May blossom is covering the Hawthorn trees, so hopefully there will be a good crop of berries for the winter migrants.

The stamens begin pink but as they release their pollen change to white and dark grey.

At the far end of the reserve Wood Cranesbill is spreading through the lighly shaded areas of woodland.

  The Dog Daisies (Ox-eye Daisy) are just opening their buds.

Ragged Robin always lives up to its name and appears 'ragged'!

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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.

More Details

Upcoming Events


Halloween Trail

Monday 21st October 2019 | 10.00am - 3.00pm

From 21st October till the 3rd November

Come and explore the reserve on a crisp autumn day and find all the hidden pumpkins scattered along the trail, find them all to answer the quiz and learn about the creepy creatures of the night that live at Foxglove.

No need to book in advance. All ages welcome, warm clothes and sturdy footwear is advised, quiz and answer sheets will be available in the field centre. £1 donation per quiz sheet.



Explore For Fungi

Wednesday 23rd October 2019 | 1.00pm - 3.00pm

Join in for a stroll around the reserve to discover which fungi are fruiting and learn more about these fascinating species. Booking is essential as spaces are limited. In order to secure a place please call the Reserve Managers to make a minimum donation of £5 per head in advance, thank you.



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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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