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A Mallard Tale on a Frosty Morning

Sunday, December 1st 2019

Mallard were leaving the shelter of the reeds at the head of the lake.  Some headed onto the ice, which was thick enough to take their weight,

whilst some remained swimming in the open water.

After very careful walking those on the ice reached its edge and very gracefully lowered themselves into the water.

Spigot Mere also retained some open water.

Some of the puddles on the bund formed during the rain had frozen and made beautiful patterns in the cracked ice.

Ice crystals had formed on much of the vegetation around the reserve and this Selfheal seed head was no exception.

Coming off the moor and walking down through the conifer woods, the sun highlighted the frost.

The bird ringing team were busy today.  Another 12 Redwing were ringed.  Fieldfares were flying over but none visited the nets.  Already it is noticeable that the number of Hawthorn berries is decreasing.  A migrant Blackbird was also ringed, its dark beak and very black head were obvious as it was taken out of the bird bag.  Also amongst today's catch was a Blue Tit ringed in the nest box in 2016, and a Great Tit from a nest box in 2017.  Siskin and Reed Buntings and made their appearance.  No Redpolls were caught but they could be on their way?  Eleanor, a member of the Swaledale Ringing Group is working in Scotland and ringing with the Grampion Ringing Team.  They are catching many Redpoll.

Many thanks to the bird ringers for all their hard work, it was a very good, enjoyable day.


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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

Saturday 4th July 2020 | 10.00am - 12 noon

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

Sunday 19th July 2020 | 1.00pm start

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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