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First Day of Spring

Sunday, March 20th 2016

The Met Office first day of spring was 1st March.  The equinox was today, 20th March, so spring is definitely here.  There was blue sky, no wind, sun and some warmth at Foxglove this morning.  Really springlike.  Down at Signy Island Stacey reported that it was not spring like!  They have nine days to close down the station and then begin the long journey north, to spring.

Some of the bird ringers were net mending, ensuring that the nets are ready for the start of CES (Constant Effort Site) in May.  CES means very early mornings, having to be there for dawn.  We have a few weeks to get used to an early start, as so far this year we have been able to have a lie in.

Net mending

There were many visitors enjoying the sunshine.  The Royal Lancers Welfare team organised an Easter Egg hunt for the children which was great fun.

An apology.  Yesterday the blog said that the Frogs had finished croaking and spawning.  They obviously did not read the blog as they were croaking merrily through the Scrapes for most of the day.  Some were a little shy.  You may have to search for the Frog in this photo.


The Toads were also calling their high pitched sort of croak.  You can see the large hind legs that are used to propel him through the water and also fight off other males when courting the females.  Most of the Toads seen today were males, calling the females to the ponds.

Common Toad

Keeping the camera to hand whilst out and about caught this Greylag Goose on Plovers Pool, whilst another five were taking it easy on the moor.

Grelag goose on Plaovers Pool

Knowing 'our patch' which is Foxglove, we memorise where to look for certain flowers, although we do look rather early, probably from the end of January, ever hopeful.  Today there were flowers where they always are.  On entering the reserve to your right, down the fence line, is a large willow tree and it is always the first to be in full bloom.  Taking photographs against the blue sky, buzzing could be heard and there was a bee collecting pollen.

Bee on willow

The hive bees were active and some were returning with very large pollen sacs. 

We have been told that Lesser Celandine has been in flower for several weeks around the area, but not a one at FGC until today and three were seen, the first on the moor as usual.

Lesser Celandine

Coltsfoot was not open on Wednesday in the back garden, but it was today.


The usual Larch tree that is easy to reach for photographs did not let us down and is in full flower with male flowers, slightly brown/green coloured and red female flowers.

Male and female Larch flowers

Risedale Beck bridge rails usually have their own collection of invertebrates but only one Seven Spot Ladybird was found today.

Seven Spot Ladybird

Wildlife is responding to the lengthening days and warm sunshine.  When will the first toadspawn be sighted?  When will the first butterfly make it onto the observation board?

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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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Foxglove Covert LNR AGM

Wednesday 26th January 2022 | 7.00pm start

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LANTRA Chainsaw Maintenance, Cross-cutting, Felling and Processing Trees up to 380mm

Monday 31st January 2022 | 5 day course with 8.30 am starts

An opportunity has arisen for 3 people to join this recognised LANTRA course. 

From first cuts to full-on felling, this five-day course will teach you all you need to know about using a chainsaw. This is a hands-on course that delivers both practical skills and health and safety guidance as well as demonstrating that you and your employer have completed sufficient training to meet the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER).

Booking for this is through KNW Training in Bedale, please contact them for details and costs.


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