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A Variety of This and That

Monday, April 2nd 2018

The Little Grebe was fishing and then taking vegetation to his mate, although I do not think she was over impressed with his enthusiasm to start nesting just yet!  The fish was identified as a Rudd.  John was able to catch this great photograph.

Little Grebe with Rudd

Back in the warmth of the Activity Room more excitement as we found eggs from our Mud Snails.  We await their hatching.

Mud Snail eggs

Some of our Holly leaves have brown marks on them.  Upon investigation Christine identified them as Holly Leaf Miners.  The tiny fly Phytomyza ilicis, lays her eggs in the young, newly grown soft leaves.  The larva hatches and begins to mine between the layers of the leaf.  It pupates and hatches out leaving a tiny hole.  However the story has a twist or two.  A parasitic wasp is able to lay her eggs in the larva - yes the wasp larva eats the fly larva - delightful!  Continuing, birds like the Blue Tit, then eat the wasp larva.  Looking at information on web sites we need to take a closer look at these marks, as depending upon the mark left on the leaf, we should be able to tell if the larva of the fly or wasp has hatched or if the larva has been eaten.  And not forgetting this is a new species!

Holly Leaf Miner

Foxglove is often two weeks behind the surrounding area when it comes to flowering times.  The weather has been so cold, spring is very late.  Or are we just used to earlier springs?  Checking the April blog of 2017, there is a photo of a Marsh Marigold in flower, but the best I can do this April are some leaves.

Marsh Marigold leaves

In some of the hedgerows surrounding Foxglove Blackthorn is beginning to flower.  In Foxglove it is still tight in bud.

Blackthorn flower buds

And finally a Redpoll has been caught that is six years old.  These birds only weigh between 9 and 12 grams.  Yet another amazing fact from the bird ringing that takes place at Foxglove. 


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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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Upcoming Events


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

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 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.



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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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