Blog Archive (4) Posts Made in January 2024

Garden Birds

Sunday, January 28th 2024

Among the many habitats and hides at Foxglove Covert, one of the best places to watch birds is right in the Field Centre, looking out onto the feeders in the garden. This was exactly where staff, volunteers and visitors completed the RSPB's Big Garden Bird Watch today.

There were lots of birds flitting in and out of the garden, so fast they were tricky to count. Thanks to those who helped spot all the different birds enjoying food from the feeders and hiding in the trees.

Some highlights from the count included 5 bullfinches, 4 Long-tailed Tits, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 2 Bramblings, 1 Greenfinch, 1 Nuthatch and a flock of 13 Lesser Redpoll.

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Winter Fungi

Thursday, January 25th 2024

Among decaying branches, mossy logs and the soggy leaf littered ground of Foxglove Covert you can spot Scarlet or Ruby Elf Cup Fungi. A lovely splash of bright red among browns and greens, these fungi fruit in winter and through to early spring.

Visually indistinguishable, Ruby Elf Cup (Sarcoscypha coccinea) and Scarlet Elf Cup (Sarcoscypha austriaca) can be identified by microscope or DNA.

Winter might seem bleak and barren, but remember to keep an eye out for splashes of colour like these as you wander outside. There is always something to see, even in midwinter!

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Winter highlights

Sunday, January 21st 2024

While more winter storms are on the way, it's good to reflect on some of the fantastic wildlife that our recent cold-snap has brought to Foxglove Covert. 

Many of you will know that this year is a 'Waxwing winter', where these charismatic birds have come across the North Sea from Scandinavia in large numbers. It has been an excellent breeding year for Waxwings, so berry bushes in their home territories were stripped quickly, resulting in the mass exodus to the UK. El, the Foxglove Covert Ranger was lucky enough to see a party of three of these brilliant birds near our Lake just a week or so ago. 

Woodcock have also been seen more readily than usual as a result of the freezing conditions. They have a hard time when the ground is frozen for long periods, preventing feeding both day and night. A recent study suggested that the average fast that birds could survive was six days. So, it is a relief that the ground is now softening for them allowing them to find earthworms and insect larvae once more.

A favourite in the back garden of the Field Centre are Bramblings, another stunning winter visitor, taking advantage of the seed that we put out. They are occasionally confused with Chaffinches and can often be found feeding with them.

In addition to this trio of unusual birds, a Crossbill was spotted along the access track - the second sighting this year of this striking finch.

We often get the best bird sightings during the harshest of conditions. I wonder what will be blown in by the coming storm..?!

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Happy 2024!

Sunday, January 7th 2024

This Thursday we were back with our first practical volunteering session of 2024 with a continuation of the willow coppicing started in 2023. 

While some members of the team were cutitng down willow, others worked on building a fire to start burning some of the excess material taken down in the previous coppicing sessions. With some dry weather, little wind and a lot of patience a successful fire was started, despite the damp wood we were working with!

All in all it was a successful start to 2024 and some good progress was made in coppicing this section of the carr. We here at Foxlgove wish everyone a Happy New Year and a successful 2024!

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Help Support Foxglove

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

Access to the Reserve: CLOSED

Monday 20th May 2024 |

Due to security and access problems the reserve is temporarily closed to the public except for organised events.

Dragonfly Walk

Sunday 21st July 2024 | 1pm-3pm

Guided walk around Foxglove Covert LNR to spot and learn about IDing dragonflies and damselflies. Led by county recorder Keith Gittens.

Booking essential. Donations welcome.


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