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A Beautiful Cold Day

Monday, April 16th 2012

A beautiful clear blue sky greeted the bird ringers this morning.

Blue sky and Blackthorn

Wearing coats, hats, scarves and gloves they hurried around the frosty reserve putting up the mist nets.

Frosted Nettle

During the day over 100 birds were processed including Chaffinches that were over 4 years old and a Bullfinch that was at least 6 years old.  Willow Warblers had been heard on the reserve for a week and the first ones were caught and ringed today, along with 8 birds returning to Foxglove from Africa which were ringed here in previous years.

The bird ringers also worked on some of the net rides in preparation for the beginning of CES. 

Thankfully the flowers and the trees have not been damaged too much by the frost.  Primroses, Wood Anemones, Blackthorn and the cherry blossom provide nectar and pollen for insects on the wing. Some flowers, like this Dog Violet, have honey guides to direct the insect to the nectary, and in doing so ensure the insect becomes covered in pollen.  When the insect visits another flower of the same species pollination is brought about and in time a seed will form.

Dog Violet showing honey guides

Many trees rely on wind pollination and have separate male and female flowers.  These catkins on the Silver Birch will soon be releasing their pollen.

Male catkins on Birch

You can see the sticky stigmas of the female flower (of the Birch) in the photograph below.  These catch the pollen and so by the end of the summer the seeds will be dispersed all over the reserve!

Female Silver Birch flower

The reserve was very busy with many new families and visitors, and it was nice to see the Woodcock still sitting tight while people passed by, oblivious, only a few metres from the nest.


(1) Comments:

Nessa Sally responded on 31st Jan 2019 with...

I love to see it all and must say that all of these above images are adorable.


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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


Meadow Mayhem

Saturday 4th July 2020 | 10.00am - 12 noon

Celebrate National Meadows Day!

Join us for a morning exploring the many wildflower meadows found at Foxglove. We will be learning how to ID wildflowers and grasses, as well as sweep netting for butterflies and insects and identifying them. This event is part of the Flowers of the Dales Festival

A minimum donation of £5 per person in advance to guarantee a place. Card payments can be taken by phone.

This event is free for Volunteers and Friends of the reserve.



Damsels and Dragons

Sunday 19th July 2020 | 1.00pm start

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a Dragonfly and a Damselfly? Can you tell the difference between the different species of blue damselfly? Would you like to learn more about theses fascinating animals that have been around since prehistoric times? Join Keith Gittens for a walk around the beautiful Foxglove ponds (some of which are usually out of bounds to visitors) and observe as many different species as you can. Last year, a new species for the reserve was discovered on this event!

Booking is essential as places are limited. There is a donation of £5 per person to be paid in advance in order to secure a place. Payments now can be made on the phone.

This event is free for Volunteers and Friends of the reserve.



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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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