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Ponds, Ponies and Owls

Friday, April 27th 2018

Yesterday morning the Field Centre garden could have been used for a masterclass in corvid identification.  Four Rooks, three Jackdaws and a Carrion Crow were all busy feeding off the seed that had been dropped by other birds.  Overseeing this was a Jay that kept to the peanut feeders or retreated to the nearby trees.  Today a Jay was the only one around, but we did still have a Brambling in among the Chaffinches, Goldfinches and Robins.

One check that needed to be made was on the Wetland.  The levels in the ponds are controlled by a series of small dams and pipes.  Two of the pipes have been closed off with caps but one of them can be dislodged if birds feed around it.  Inevitably, when you want to go and check this there is a Greylag Goose right next to where you want to be.  Eventually, but with little grace, it decided that discretion was the order of the day and moved to another pond.

Others enjoying the water were Taurus and Lark who were both busy feeding on the new grass growth in and around Plover's Pool.  With the increased levels of nutrient in the vegetation, they both need to spend a little less time feeding so have spent some of the day lying down to catch up on their sleep.

We also had a group of visitors enjoying the water of the Scrapes and what can be found within, which included damselfly nymphs, whirligig beetles, lesser boatman, blood worms and the odd fish. 

We also welcomed both Stacey, Jenny and Rachel to the reserve who have busied themselves with the 16 larger nest boxes. Unfortunately for me I was moments too late to see this wonderful Tawny owl and her four chicks in one of the large boxes.

This individual was not new to the Reserve having previously been caught last year at nest box 128, and again in a mist net in June (thanks to Rachel for letting us use this picture on the blog).  

As the new kid on the block I felt it only right that I resign myself to ladder carrying duties for the afternoon, thankfully it was all worth while.

This gorgeous female was also no newbie to the Reserve having been ringed as a chick in May 2014, before being caught again in May 2016, and now again in another nest box, the proud mother to three young chicks. 


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Friends of Foxglove

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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Upcoming Events


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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