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Tales of the Riverbank

Friday, November 15th 2013

Ken has completed his latest challenge of capturing a Water Vole on film with his remote camera. Although difficult to spot, these elusive mammals often leave behind footprints in the clay pads that are left out to monitor for presence of mink. During the winter months, the voles do not hibernate but their activity levels are greatly reduced making them even more tricky to see in the wild. As you can see from the footage below, they are considerably smaller in size than a rat and have much shorter tails.

 At the other end of the 'tail spectrum', Long-tailed tits were caught and ringed this afternoon. These beautiful birds are easily recognisable with their distinctive colouring, tails that are longer than their bodies, and undulating flight. They rove about in flocks of about twenty and are often heard at Foxglove calling to each other in the tree tops.

Lotti_1

In Birds Britannica, Mark Cocker writes that “outside the breeding season they rove through their communal territory enveloped in a perpetual cocoon of soft, bubbling contact notes”. When a party flew off, he said, “they resemble a succession of whirring sticks with globular, pink ping-pong ball foreparts”. John Clare referred to them as bumbarrels in his poems.

Lotti_2

A Kingfisher was watched feeding on the lake today and a Common Darter dragonfly was observed in the scrapes this afternoon. Watch this space for the results of Ken's next challenge!


(1) Comments:

Glenn responded on 17th Nov 2013 with...

And coy bumbarrels twenty in a drove
Flit down the hedgerows in the frozen plain
And hang on little twigs and start again.

John Clare, ‘the peasant poet’, written in the early 1800s.

As discussed on Friday. G.


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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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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The events programme has been temporarily withdrawn.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

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



Damsels and Dragons CANCELLED

Sunday 19th July 2020 | 1.00pm start

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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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