Keeping Your Eyes Open

Saturday, August 12th 2023

Walking around Foxglove, no matter what the season, it is important to keep your eyes open and look for things that look different or should not be there.  Sometimes this means that a quiet approach to a 'thing' means that you are ready to photograph a piece of mud, of a dead leaf, or better still a dropping!  A movement often gives away a creature and in this case it was a beautiful Common Toad.

It was not an adult, proably two or three years old. Its warty skin is clear to see as is its bronze/gold eye.  The boardwalks are good places to hunt as many insects appreciate the warmth of the wood.  Vegetation growing along both sides provide shelter, hiding places and yet more food.  Common Toads hibernate and as they emerge from hibernation they head to their spawning ponds.  Once this is finished they head onto land and live there during the summer and are not often found back in the water.

Something a little smaller was easily noticed, a bright red spot on green grass.  It was a Seven-sopt Ladybird.

Thank you to Tim for these phtotgraphs.

Out on the moor the wind was slightly on the strong side causing insects to hang on tight to the vegetation. A small moth that we can catch in our traps was Pyrausta purpuralis and it was clinging tight to a dandelion type flower.  This is a small moth which prefers grasslands.  We often see it flying on the moor.  The caterpillars feed on Water Mint.

Another insect flying across the moor and stopping on vegetation was this female Common Darter.  August sees many of these darters flying almost anywhere on the reserve.  Weather permitting they can be seen right through until October.

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Access to the Reserve: OPEN with limited access

Monday 18th March 2024 |

The reserve is now open, although again with limited access.

Visitors will be able to access the reserve with the use of key fobs provided at the pass office upon entrance to the camp, or will be provided entrance and exit through the access gate by an officer from the camp Guard Room. In this case visitors will need a mobile phone to call the Guard Room when they wish to exit the reserve.

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Walk starts from the Field Centre at 5:30am.

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