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A Cold Educational Visit

Friday, April 29th 2016

Again the cold weather persisted, and precipitation fell in various forms. This was not ideal for the last of the week’s school visits, and even though an indoor alternative activity was offered to the children they were still keen to pond dip. Today we were visited by Year 3, Carnagill Community Primary, where we split the group into two for the various activities we had in store. My group went to the pond dipping platform where the usual pondlife was found, again dominated by sticklebacks. But a few Wandering Pond Snails were found.

These snails are fairly common, and a lot smaller than the larger Great Pond Snail we also have in the same ponds.

On the habitat walk we had a good view of the Greylag Goose and her 3 goslings, but had no sightings of the Moorhen and chicks recently fledged.

A respite from the weather in the Lake Hide had us searching for birdlife, and a decent view with the spotting scope allowed the teams to view the Little Grebe on the nest.

 After lunch I took my group to the outdoor classroom where we found Ground Beetles, and Millipedes and the usual slugs.

Elizabeth’s group found a few extra things, a Spiny Headed Harvestman (Megabunus diadema). The picture below shows the front end and the palps.

Harvestmen look like spiders, and in fact are arachnids, have eight legs, palps, but do not carry venom, or make webs; they are hunters, chasing their prey and holding them with their legs whilst consuming them. The body is a combined head and abdomen, unlike the spider's two part body. If you look at the above harvestman it has a turret that contains the eyes, which Elizabeth nicely describes as a Sputnik. There are over 6400 species of harvestman in the world but we have only 24 varities in this country. Unlike spiders, who have up to eight light sensitive eyes, this little beasty has only two, and has poor eyesight, depending on its legs as sensors.  The photo below shows the rear end.  You will note that there are only seven legs in the photo as they have the ability to shed a leg if threatened or predated.

And we also found this unidentified moth caterpillar, so if anyone knows the name of this chap please contact me.

Here is the school group at 2.30pm in the rain, still with smiles on their faces!

While all this was going on, Colin, our Friday volunteer, filled the bird feeders. Our sincere thanks to him for his valued and much needed help.
 


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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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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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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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