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Ringing at the Crater

Sunday, September 12th 2021

This morning some members of the Swaledale Ringing Group arrived at Wilmire Crater, a conservation area on the MOD training area, right on top of the Pennines!  Meadow Pipits use this migration route from their summer breeding grounds out on the moors, right across the Pennines and beyond.  After a quiet start the 'Mipits', as they are affectionately known, began to arrive in the nets.  The majority of the birds caught are juveniles; the adults started south before them. 

Their diet includes many invertebrates and seeds, which are abundant in and around the area.  They need to build up fat stores for their migration.

One of the distinguishing characteristics of these birds is the long hind claw which can be easily seen in this photograph.

Other birds were also caught but in fewer numbers such as a single juvenile Goldfinch seen here.  If you look closely you can just see its red feathers coming through on its head.  A charm is the name given to a group of Goldfinches.  They can often be seen feeding on thistle seed heads.


5 Reed Buntings were also ringed. The UK population of Reed Buntings fell by 31% between 1970 and 2007. This decline was probably caused by the reduction of damp habitats and food sources on farmland. There has been a partial recovery over the last 15 years.  They feed on a variety of seeds and insects. 

Thank you to everyone involoved in this special conservation project including Brian and Ian who strimmed the net rides.

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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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Upcoming Events

Pumpkin Trail

Saturday 23rd October 2021 | 10.00am - 3.00pm

Come to the reserve half term 23rd - 31st October and enjoy the autumn colours on the red route (Easy Access Trail) and search for the pumpkin clues along the way. Test your knowledge of the creatures associated with Halloween by answering the fun quiz which is available from the visitor centre for only 50p.

No need to book, come and enjoy some fresh air with your family bubble. Don't forget your wellies and a pencil!

Owl Pellet Discovery

Sunday 24th October 2021 | 11.00am start

Come and find out what the owls at Foxglove Covert have been eating by examining owl pellet contents.

Recommended for ages 7 years upwards. 

Booking is essential as places are limited.

Suggested minimum donation of £3.00 per person. Please donate in advance to secure a place.

This event is free for Volunteers and Friends of the reserve.


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Undergrowth Newsletter Winter 2020/21 Issue 54

Find out what has been going on at the reserve during the lockdown!

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