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Bird Ringing - CES 10

Sunday, August 11th 2013

On Friday, staff and volunteers went off site to ring a family of Mute Swans.  The adults had been ringed previously and using the BTO data base, we found that one of them had been processed at Thorpe Perrow, 16 years ago.  The three cygnets were rounded up and given their own unique ring and identification number.

swan waiting to have its ring put on

Once all the swans had been checked and ringed they were released.

Releasing the cygnets

Volunteering involves so many different aspects, but each one is vital to Foxglove and ensures that the reserve is always well looked after and ready for visitors and the activities that take place.  Staff and volunteers have worked hard over the last week or so to get net rides and paths ready for CES10.  They looked magnificent!!  Many, many thanks to everyone involved in this.  Due to a poor forecast for Sunday bird ringing took place today, starting at 0445.

The early net rounds returned many birds.  Adam 1 is very good at bringing back some of the more unusual species and his first was a Sparrowhawk.  Its sharp claws are essential for catching prey, so it had to be held carefully to avoid damage to the bird ringer!  Tony explained to Michaela how to hold the bird safely.  It was ringed last year as a juvenile and was going through its moult to adult plumage.

processing teh Sparrowhawk

Adam's second special bird was a Kingfisher, caught near the weir.  If you visit the hide at the lake, keep a look out for a brilliant flash of blue as these birds return to feed.  They are often seen sitting on the green rails in front of the hide.  The bird today was a stunning male ringed initially last year.


The ringers were kept busy with net rounds, processing birds and talking to the many visitors who came into the ringing room.  It was a very busy day with 20 species ringed including an amazing 56 Bullfinches, 60 Chaffinches, 11 Siskin and 11 Chiffchaff. Towards the end of the afternoon some children returned and were allowed, under supervision to release some of the birds.  Tony explained why the birds were ringed and how to hold them and let them go.  He also gave pointers for identifying the birds.

Bird ringing being explained to the children

While the nets were taken down the bird bags were cleaned and counted and the support team were ready to tidy up the ringing room.

Cleaning and counting the bird bags

By the end of the ten and a half hour session 273 birds had been processed, 204 of them new.

Thank you to everyone involved today.

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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

Owl Pellet Discovery

Monday 26th July 2021 | 10.00am start

Come and learn all about the different  owl species that live in North Yorkshire. Find out what they eat by dissecting their pellets and identifying the contents.  Recommended for ages 7 years upwards. 

Booking is essential as places are limited.

Suggested minimum donation of £5 per person. Please donate in advance to secure a place.

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

Family Pond Dipping 1

Wednesday 28th July 2021 | 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. 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. 

Booking is essential. 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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