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Busy in Different Ways

Saturday, June 17th 2017

I don't think that there is ever a quiet day at Foxglove, even in the middle of winter, there is always plenty of work being carried out.  The volunteers have, as always, done stirling work around the reserve this week.  The net rides have been mowed and/or strimmed and many thanks must go to Peter who has manged to mow around every orchid.  All I need to do now is to ensure that the bird ringers don't walk on them!  I am sure to be popular as some of these orchids are on direct paths to and from the nets.

Probably Common Spotted Orchid

Sometimes work is done 'behind the scenes'.  Recently leaflets have been counted, photographs found for the celebration of Foxglove 25, bills paid, nest box data updated, meetings about Foxglove 25 and so the list goes on.  A huge thank you to all our volunteers for all the varied work they do.

There are times when we can sneak away and enjoy the results of all the work done.  On the wetland, Chris and I were looking for anything that caught our eye, flowers and insects were abundant.  Then we spotted this micro moth.  It did not conveniently sit on a nice piece of vegetation and nor did it sit still for long, so this is the only photo we were able to get..

Grapholita compositella

It was sent to Dr Fletcher, the moth recorder for VC65 and he replied that it was the first record for the county and of course a new species record for Foxglove.  Grapholita compositella's food plants are clover and Bird's-foot Trefoil.  Interestingly the first brood of caterpillars feed in the stems, whilst the second brood are in spun leaves and flower heads.

Chris wanted to see a Four-spotted Chaser, but we only saw one fleetingly.  Continued determination found us at the Bullet Catcher pond where we did see one, just.

Four-spotted Chaser

Walking around the pond to get a better view we spotted a bug!  Its antennae almost looked top heavy!

Golden-bloomed Grey Longhorn

On looking in various insect ID books I found it to be Agapanthia villosoviridescens or its common name is Golden-bloomed Grey Longhorn.  A book printed in 2004 indicated that it only lived in Norfolk, but a more recent book had a dot in N Yorks.  Call in the expert.  Mr Bob Marsh replied, 'In Yorkshire (VCs 61-65) we have a total of 117 records dating from about 2000, when the species first appeared in Yorkshire but so far (not including your record) we have not had it at Foxglove. The nearest in VC65 is Nosterfield SE2779, so yours looks like our most northerly record, at least as far as Yorkshire is concerned.' 

So this lovely bug is yet another new record for Foxglove.  The adults feed on Cow Parsley, Nettles and Hogweed. The larvae live and feed on various plants including thistles.

Golden-bloomed Grey Longhorn

Much work is going on now, as the date for the annual visit to Cape Wrath draws ever closer.  We have received some photos taken by Tom Dewick. This is a superb photograph of a Black-throated Diver.

Black-throated Diver

A pair of Sea Eagles were seen over Pavingstone Point.

Sea Eagles

We are often asked why we ring birds and one of the resons is to find out about the longevity.  This photo shows the ring on a Guillemot.  It was ringed by Tony on the 29th June 1999, over 17 years old.

Ring on Guillemot

In the next few weeks work will continue towards Cape Wrath and Foxglove 25, as well as the everyday work that is needed 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

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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