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A Special Eco Club

Sunday, April 29th 2012

Fingers were crossed that the morning rain would stop before Eco Club started and it did, just.  The topic for the morning was nests, but this was rather pushed into the background as we had a special visitor, a Swift returned from Africa.  Eleanor, one of our young bird ringers had found it trapped.  The children were able to watch as the bird was ringed and measured.  Its wing length was 179mm.  Once the bird was checked, it was to be released where it had been found.

Swift being ringed

The next part of the meeting was information about nests and what species actually built and used nests.  Hopes of showing bees and wasps at the nest, and may be even a 3 Spined Stickleback  at his nest, had been dashed by all the cold wet weather.  However we did examine a hole in the ground where a wasp's nest had been!  Lined up along a net ride we also found an ant's nest.

Our second surprise was out on the reserve, so all bundled up off we set.  Smiles and amazement were seen on the children's faces as the owlet was brought from the nest box.  Tony explained that only licensed bird ringers were able to handle and ring birds.  He also talked about the breeding of the Tawny Owls.  This year there are young as well developed as this one but also some owls still sitting on eggs.  It was a very well behaved owlet as children and adults took its photograph before it was returned to its nest box.

Owlet being photographed

Thank you to everyone who helped make this a very special meeting.

In the afternoon Ann and Elizabeth went off to count Early Purple Orchids. They were on a sheltered south facing bank with a sparse canopy.  Ann spotted a butterfly hanging onto a Bluebell flower where it was photographed.  It was a male Orange Tip Butterfly, you can just see the orange through its folded wings.

Orange Tip Butterfly on a Bluebell flower

As the sun came out the temperature increased and several male Orange Tips were suddenly seen flying around; a female was spotted feeding from a Bluebell flower, whilst another was being chased by two males. 

There were 7 orchids amongst the other spring flowers.  Water Avens are just opening and will soon be in profusion along Risedale Beck.

Water Aven


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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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