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A Good Morning for Peacocks

Friday, July 20th 2018

The warm weather continued this morning, so the first thing would have been a check on the ponies to see how they had settled in their new compartment on the Heathland but this had to wait as work was going on to repair the Access Gate.  Once this was working, it was time for Lark and Taurus who were both sufficiently absorbed in the plentiful supply of grass to just raise their heads to see what was going on before returning to grazing.

Newly emerged Peacock butterflies (Aglais io) have been on the wing.  Those seen previously this year were the ones that had over-wintered in hibernation, with many looking bedraggled and with faded colours.  Not so those today which are resplendent in bright colours and eye spots.   Having spent the early Summer as caterpillars feeding on Common Nettle (Urtica dioica) followed by the last few weeks as a chrysalis, they join the Brimstones and Red Admirals seen this week.

The dry weather also meant that Colin could finish the tunnels on two of the Mink rafts.  We have designed these with hinged lids which will make it easier to see the clay cartridges in the tunnels and look for footprints of Mink (and Water Voles).  He completed the second and third new raft, so we still have more to make and refurbish a couple of the old ones.

Colin then spent the afternoon filling the bird feeders, which meant it was time for me to make up one of the clay cartidges to fit the new rafts.  These come as a kit with a shaped basket, a floristry reservoir, clay and sand.

As the basket sits in the water, the reservoir has to be shaped to fill the basket to just under 10 mm below the basket top.  This will remain wet when on the raft which will them also keep the clay mix damp enough to take footprints.  Having mixed the clay and sand with water, this was spread out over the top of the basket and smoothed ready for use in the raft on the Scrapes.  Hopefully, we'll get some results in the next few days.


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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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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.



Family Pond Dipping 1 - FULLY BOOKED!

Wednesday 22nd July 2020 | 45 minute sessions on the hour

Come along and find out which animals are living in some of the Foxglove ponds. Book a pond dipping session for your family bubble of up to six people. There will be a socially distanced brief to set you off and then you can use the equipment for the remainder of the session. You will be requested to use hand gel on arrival and the net handles will be cleaned between sessions. Please call the Reserve Managers on 07754 270980 to book your allocated slot. You are advised to arrive 15 minutes before your allocated time. A donation in advance (card payment by phone) of £5 per family bubble is required in order to secure your booking. 



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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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