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Bempton Cliffs and Little Things

Sunday, July 22nd 2018

Some of the bird ringers have been involved over the weekend fitting trackers to Gannets at Bempton Cliffs. The trackers will record the movements of the adult birds and this year are much more refined with special cameras set into the cliff tops recording the movement of the adults as they come and go to feed their chicks.  The cameras can identify the birds individually once the trackers are fitted.

It requires a great deal of organisation for this to be carried out.  However one thing is similar to our CES at Foxglove, they had to be up at dawn!  A familiar face can be seen below but as you can see from the t shirt , she has, temporarily we hope, gone over to the dark side!

The cliffs at dawn

Two new problems presented themselves this year, one was the number of Gannets that now breed on the cliffs at Bempton - which are far in excess of what they were when the earlier studies were conducted between 2010 - 2012.  The second was the damage 'the Beast from the East' had caused to the cliffs themselves making them much more unstable and difficult to move on without dislodging lumps of stone.  Both had to be given serious consideration by the climbers and necessitated an earlier than planned halt to this year's activities.

Cliffs and birds

Stacey on the top of the  cliff - well roped on!

From large birds to tiny weevils.  Water Figwort grows through the Scrapes and it must be admitted that it is not the most beautiful of flowers.  It does have its own weevil, the Figwort Weevil.  Several were found on stems.

Figwort Weevil

Another interesting fact is that only Wasps pollinate these flowers.  I have tried for several years to take a decent photograph showing a Wasp on the flower.  Success at last.

Wasp on Water Figwort


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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The events programme has been temporarily withdrawn.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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