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Footprints in the Snow

Wednesday, January 17th 2018

You know the day is going to be interesting when a Pheasant appears to be playing 'chicken', apparently deliberately waiting until it can fly across your oncoming car and be missed by as close a margin as possible.  In this case, the margin was down to a couple of millimetres.  The snow added both to the difficulty in driving conditions and to the scenic quality of the Reserve.  First light revealed several sets of tracks in the snow.  Heading out to the Moorland, Fox prints followed the path almost to the gate onto the Middle Moor and showed the change from a gentle trot to a run.  At one point, this track was crossed by a fresher set of Roe Deer slot marks, with the outline being more defined.

 

 

However, on the boardwalk going through the Scrapes, the snow was in pristine condition for much of the way except for where two Roe deer slot marks suggested that the deer had jumped onto the boardwalk and immediately off the other side as the toes were splayed wide.  Roe Deer, Fox, Rabbit and Pheasant prints were the most obvious and were found over many parts of the Reserve including Risedale Beck, the Moorland and the Scrapes.

Moving on to the Lake which is still free of ice, the resident Mallard have been joined by others coming in, and there were at least 16 there during the day and had been joined by two Dabchicks.  These were seen on the way to do further work on the trees near the Lake that needed ties and re-staking.  After that, the three Junipers were checked after their move out from the Heathland yesterday with two of the Volunteers carefully transplanting them to a new location next to the access road.

This left time to make a start on the Bird Box Store in one of the cabins that remains from previous years at Foxglove Covert before the Field Centre was built.

This is still watertight, and so a range of nest boxes can be stored in here.  However, it does need a good sort out to clean it inside and to take stock of what boxes we have.  So, although there may be snow on the ground, thoughts are already turning to Spring and the nesting season, and care and maintenance of the nest boxes around the Reserve and beyond will become an increasing part of our work in the next weeks.


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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 CANCELLED

Saturday 4th July 2020 | 10.00am - 12 noon

The events programme has been temporarily withdrawn. For up to date information this website, FaceBook and other forms of social media should be consulted. If you have donated in advance to secure a place on an event you will be contacted over the next few days and offered a refund. We apologise for this inconvenience.

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 CANCELLED

Sunday 19th July 2020 | 1.00pm start

The events programme has been temporarily withdrawn. For up to date information this website, FaceBook and other forms of social media should be consulted. If you have donated in advance to secure a place on an event you will be contacted over the next few days and offered a refund. We apologise for this inconvenience.

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
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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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