Bird Song Breakfast

Tuesday, May 8th 2012

Tea was served between 0400 and 0430!  Tony then welcomed all the visitors, old and new, to Foxglove Covert.  He introduced the other guides, Tom, John, James, Sophie and Adam and explained how the morning was planned.  Each group set off in a different direction.  Although a variety of birds were heard singing and calling, including Wren, Blackcap, Song Thrush, Willow Warbler, and Curlew, it was obvious that the cold weather was delaying some migrants that have still to make an appearance. 

Dawn over the conifers

The sun was rising as eveyone returned to the Field Centre.  Those people heading to the lek followed Tony.

There were five Black Cock lekking, trying to make a good impression on at least one Grey Hen.  The Black Cock populations in the North East are having mixed success, but good views were had of the displaying males.  Also seen were Wheatear and a beautiful Woodcock sitting on a fence post!  Cuckoos, which have only just returned, were heard in the distance.

Those people remaining at Foxglove set out again and added some extra birds to their list.  However the highlight of their walk was the Crossbills feeding in the conifers along the moor fence.  Binoculars trained on the birds saw the adults feeding the young.  They eat the seeds out of pine cones which they extract using their crossed bills.

Both groups then met at Wathgill for a fat boys' breakfast.  Many thanks to everyone who helped with this event.

Later in the day, it was a little warmer and the St Mark's Fly was seen, some even flying, trailing their long hind legs!  A photograph was needed but they had a trick up their sleeve!  When the camera got close they just fell off the leaf!  Finally this one was caught on a tree stake.

St Mark's Fly

In yesterday's sunshine butterflies were recorded along with the first Large Red Damselfly.  Today very few insects were seen. 

Many of the flowers are remaining in bud awaiting some warm sunny weather.  However this Ground Ivy had opened some of its flowers amongst the buds of Wild Garlic.Ground Ivy


Although the day clouded over and was cool with a blustery wind many visitors walked around the reserve enjoying the sounds of the birds and looking for the Spring flowers.

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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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Butterflies and Moths Treasure Trail

Friday 22nd July 2022 | During Reserve Opening Times

Enjoy a walk around the red route (easy access trail) and find the clues to learn all about these wonderful insects. 

Pick up a clue sheet from the Field Centre for only £1 and check your answers at the end.

No booking required as this is a selg guided activity! Please remember to bring a pencil from home.

The clues will be out for the duration of the school summer holidays (North Yorkshire dates).

Pond Dipping 1

Wednesday 27th July 2022 | Various sessions available starting 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 of only £5 per group in advance will confirm your time slot.


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