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Making tracks

Friday, December 1st 2017

As it's the first day of the meteorological Winter, predictably the weather got warmer, although there was still plenty of ice and snow around.  This gave a good chance first thing to look at the tracks left by wildlife overnight.  For those who have found it difficult to spot the Roe Deer in the Reserve, and the odd one who has said that they didn't believe there were deer around, there were plenty of tracks to be seen around the Lake hide and the Field Centre.

Even more elusive have been Foxes.  While definitely around, their ability to keep out of the way of visitors to the Reserve can be in marked contrast to some of their urban cousins who can be quite brazen as they move around their territories.  Fox prints, like a dog's but more oval in shape, were found around the lake and the Cascade Ponds.

One Fox has been seen recently, which was very much both a chance, and a brief, encounter.  The large male was sitting in the middle of the access road at dusk when he was caught in the headlights of a car before making off into the undergrowth.  He features on the species sightings list kept on the board in the Field Centre, with 29 bird, 22 fungi, 36 flowering plant and 6 mammal species which were recorded during November.

The large number of bird species seen includes those making use of the feeders at the Field Centre and near to the hides.  WIth seed and peanuts available in the Field Centre garden this morning, it became clear that some of the larger birds were using their size to push others off the feeders.  Two Magpies were happy to chase of the smaller finches and tits from the best food but they met their match when the Jackdaws moved in.  This all changed when a female Sparrowhawk used the cover of the building to launch an unsuccessful ambush.  For a few seconds after the flash of dark brown across the grass, no birds could be seen.

The feeders are regularly filled on a Friday morning by Colin, one of the volunteers.  He also checks the small rafts used to put apples out for Water Voles to feed on.  With ice across the ponds, there was no sign of voles but the apples have been put down as the weather is due to warm up and hopefully the ice will melt over the weekend.


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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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Minibeast Safari 2

Wednesday 12th August 2020 | Various time slots available

Come along and find out which minibeasts are living in some of the habitats at Foxglove. Book a minibeast 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 equipment 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 in advance (card payment by phone) of £5 per family bubble is required in order to secure your booking. 



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Wednesday 19th August 2020 | 45 minute sessions 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 in advance (card payment by phone) of £5 per family bubble is required in order to secure your booking.  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 in advance (card payment by phone) of £5 per family bubble is required in order to secure your booking. 



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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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