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A Very Hot Day

Monday, August 26th 2019

I went to check on Lark and Taurus, using the little gate onto Plover's Pool.  No one in sight, opened the gate and suddenly hooves thundering on the ground, well that's what it sounded like, as I hurried back through the gate!  Lark and I then had a conversation along the lines that he was to stay on his side and I would stay on mine.  I am not sure if it was in agreement or in annoyance, but he then sneezed all over me!

Taurus wandered over but was too busy eating grass to be concerned about the gate.  Looking at their legs, both had been in Plover's Pool cooling off.

I walked the long way back to the middle moor to photograph the neat lines of cut hay.

Middle moor

 After lunch the hay had been baled.  Last year due to the drought, there was only one and a half bales, this year there are ten.

House Martins are beginning to gather for their southern migration and were drinking from Spigot Mere.  A Pied Wagtail was seen on one of the spits into the Mere.  Common Darters were egg laying and a Black-tailed Skimmer flew right along the moor path, but not stopping long enough for a photo to be taken.

Red Poppies like disturbed ground and this one was growing right on the edge of the Mere.

Down on the lake a Moorhen has had a late brood of two young chicks.  Not a brilliant photograph, but if you look closely you can see one of the youngsters right on the back of the adult.

The bird ringers were ringing at another site today.  They ringed Reed Buntings and Reed Warblers and also a Sedge Warbler.

Then there was a surprise.  I will let Tony tell the story.

'Mark was the first to hear a Cettis Warbler, then we both heard it a couple of times more.  Imagine the surprise when in the far end net I extracted what I felt sure was a Cettis juvenile.  I took it back, the first I have ever caught in the UK, and after counting the tail feathers and checking the wing emargination it could be nothing else.  As I have ringed several in Cyprus and the Middle East, Mark ringed it.

Two net rounds later I extracted an adult male well into moult from exactly the same place in the net line.  Two Cettis Warblers!  Then a minute later Mark found and extracted another juvenile!  So we ended up with 3 Cettis today which was pretty good!  The first I have caught in 30years!  Quite a reasonable day and well worth getting up a little early!'

This is quite an unusual bird for this area, so will be an excellent record.


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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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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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