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Apples and Water Voles

Sunday, June 12th 2016

Although the ground stayed damp for most of the day the rain did not fall here, in fact it was a somewhat balmy with the odd glimmer of sun. This encouraged me out of the field centre to have a look at the reserve at a more leisurely pace than in the week.

Lady’s Mantle

My first visit was to the pond dipping platforms where the new Water Vole rafts were situated. They have been very successful, showing plenty of activity; no apple remained on one of platforms, and about a half left on the other, plenty of fresh droppings peppered the rafts plus reeds cut at the characteristic 45 degrees. I impaled a new apple on the empty nail and continued on my rounds.

The  board walks were literally crawling with these Wolf Spiders who carry their egg case around attached to their spinnerets. These spiders do not make a web, hunting the prey by chasing them down.

 The warm damp weather brought out a lot of bugs, such as this Long Horn Beetle (Rhagium bifasciatum)


What was out on the Scrapes and Wetland areas were the Azure Damselflies, this one below gripping the female with his claspers

Large Red Damselflies

Also this beautiful 4-Spotted Chaser

Returning via the Pond Dipping Platforms I was privileged to see this Water Vole,

It was so absorbed with consuming the apple that I was able to get close enough to take these photos.

Before it slipped away, no doubt to return to finish its meal in peace. I think this will be the first of many photos of Water Voles on these rafts in the future, and a steady supply of apples!

A downloadable fact sheet from the Mammal Society is available here-

http://www.mammal.org.uk/sites/default/files/factsheets/watervole_complete.pdf


(1) Comments:

Tim Randall responded on 12th Jun 2016 with...

Wonderful photos of the Water Vole.


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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. 



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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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