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Early Birds

Monday, April 16th 2012

The Adopt-A-Box team were out early yesterday morning checking a few nest boxes to see how the season was shaping up and got a real surprise!  For Blue and Great Tits the nesting season starts with a one to two week period of nest building.  The nest platform is usually constructed out of moss and perhaps some dry grass and once a depth of a couple of inches is reached then the nest cup is shaped into the moss.  The nest cup is then lined with wool, feathers or hair to give a cosy lining before a random mix of similar material is spread across the top of the nest.  Eggs are laid at the rate of one a day and incubation does not start until the the clutch is almost complete.  For titmice at Foxglove egg laying usually takes from 6 to 10 days and in mid April it would be usual to find birds actively building nests and perhaps a few nests that were reaching the lined stage ready for eggs.  So imagine our surprise when we looked into one box and after carefully moving the top cover counted 5 eggs and in three more found 4 eggs!  This means that  these birds started laying on the 10th or 11th April and this is a good 4 or 5 days earlier than we have recorded in the recent past!

So what does this mean?  Well the season has got off to a really really early start and it remains to see whether the rest of the nesting pairs start egg laying quite soon or this develops into a very protracted egg laying season.  It also means that for those who have not signed up to Adopt-A-Box, time is running out for this year, so please contact the Reserve Managers to book your box!


...............and here are two nests I photographed earlier showing the covered and then the uncovered:





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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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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

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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