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Breeding Kestrels

Saturday, May 9th 2020

Kestrels also use the large nest boxes put out by the Foxglove team. They breed a little later than the owls and usually it is the adult female who found is inside the box incubating the eggs.

The male provides the female and the chicks with food throughout the nesting period. The female will only hunt if food is short, risking the loss of eggs or young chicks.
Therefore, it is unusual to discover a male bird on the nest. However, this has been known on occasions and this photograph shows a beautiful adult male. Males are smaller than the females and have a slate grey head while females are all brown.

The bulk of their diet is made up of small rodents but they will also take a wide variety of other prey, including lizards, earthworms, large insects and even bats. Vole numbers affect kestrel numbers: in good vole years more young kestrels are fledged. There have been a lot of small mammal sightings by people out walking this year so hopefully, the Kestrels will do well during this breeding season. 

The timing of egg laying is dependent on the weather, but the female normally lays her clutch of 3-6 eggs in late April or early May. The eggs are a deep brown colour and look a bit like chocolate ones!


(1) Comments:

Tim Randall responded on 11th May 2020 with...

How lovely to to see these beautiful birds in such detail.


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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

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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