A Wonderful Wednesday
Wednesday, March 27th 2019
Welcolmed to the reserve this afternoon was a group of visitors from PLACE (People, Landcape And Cultural Environment of Yorkshire) who first enjoyed a short presentation about the different habitats and species at Foxglove by Elizabeth.
The group members then enjoyed a guided walk to experience the habitats for themselves. They paid a quick visit to a newly discovered archeological feature that is yet to be identified by a military archeologist.
Everyone was amazed by the large amount of Toads still to be found moving around the network of footpaths and spawning in the ponds. Team Wednesday were extremely busy today after catching a huge haul of moths in the Robinsons trap last night. Most of the egg cartons were full on both sides.
In them were no less than 281 moths of 14 different species, including 107 Common Quaker, 56 Clouded Drab and 43 Hebrew Characters! Four Pine Beauty moths were caught, the first ones to be recorded this year. The adults feed on Willow catkins and as the name suggests the larva feed on needles of pine, especially Scots, Corsican and Lodgepole and in some cases Larch.
Another first for the year was a single Oak Beauty, seen below, these have a flight season from late February to April .The Larvae feed on Oak, Hazel, Aspen and Alder along with other deciduous trees.
The first 3 Early Thorns were another highlight. Their flight season is from March to May then again in July through to September. Larval food plants include Blackthorn, Hawthorn, Silver and Downy Birch and Honey suckle.
Later as volunteers carried out the monthly flower walk they discovered Yellow Rattle seedlings on the hay meadow, a sure sign that summer is on its way!
Also hard at work were some students from Risedale Sports and Community College who assisted with protecting young trees from browsing animals such as Roe Deer and Rabbits. Once again their problem solving and team building skills came into good use and their hard work is valued.
All in all, a wonderful Wednesday and the icing on the cake was a special wildlife opportunity when a Jay and two adult Buzzards were ringed locally by members of the Swaledale Ringing Team.
Not bad for Gerry's first day in the office! Welcome to the Foxglove team Gerry! Thank you to everyone who supported the Local Nature Reserve today in whatever capacity, it all makes a difference.