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Raptor Round Up

Sunday, June 14th 2020

The raptor breeding season is almost over and it has been an extremely busy one for the Foxglove bird ringing team. This beautiful Peregrine Falcon chick is one of over 100 birds of prey ringed this spring.

Unusually, its nest was on the ground and was shared by three siblings. All were ringed with colour rings so that they can be identified as individuals from a distance with a telescope. They were all in good health and were well fed with full crops.

Another brood of Kestrels was ringed last night bringing the total to over 60. There were 5 healthy chicks.

A new record was the discovery of the latest Tawny Owl chicks we've known. There were four of them, one of which (the white one in the centre of the picture) was still too small to be ringed! Mid June is really quite late for them to fledge.

The team only found one Little Owl nest this year. This small owl was introduced to the UK in the 19th century. It can be seen in the daylight, usually perching on a tree branch, telegraph pole or rock. It will bob its head up and down when alarmed. In flight it has long, rounded wings, rapid wingbeats and flies with a slight undulation. Breeding Bird Survey data suggest that little owl numbers are declining. They eat small mammals and birds, beetles and worms. Here is the adult female.

She managed to rear three chicks, here are two of them at around three weeks old.

Buzzards breed later than the other birds of prey and the ringers have just started to visit their tree top nests, with the help of local tree surgeon (and climber) Sean from Yorkshire Tree Specialists!

Whilst out checking the last few boxes, the group have been keeping an eye on the wild Greylag Geese and so far nine goslings have been ringed too.

Finally, there is an article about the reserve in this weeks Darlington and Stockton Times.


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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The events programme has been temporarily withdrawn.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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