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CES 1

Monday, May 6th 2019

As the new year dawns, so the cycle of nature begins.  Winter is left behind and the reserve turns from blacks and browns to the varied greens of spring.  Primroses and Dog Violets show themselves as spring develops.  Orange Tips are on the wing.  Winter migrants leave and summer migrants arrive.  And just as spring moves on so May sees the beginning of CES - the Constant Effort Scheme run by the BTO.  The same nets have to be raised for the same length of time on the same days each year. 

The 27th year of this scheme started at Foxglove on Sunday, at 6am.  It was very cold but no wind as there had been on the day before.  The birds woke slowly but their songs soon filled the reserve.  At this time of year the bird population is usually halved, as the females are sitting on nests.  For the first CES it was quite a busy day.  We also ringed our first juveniles of the year, some Robins.  You can see it still has its large gape and tiny tufts of down.

Juvenile Robin

Siskin, Bullfinch, Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff were amongst the 23 species of birds processed.  Blackcaps had been heard around the reserve and we ringed our first of the season.

Male Blackcap

The bird ringers were supported by several volunteers who do not ring; from inputting data, checking ring numbers, cleaning bird bags, carrying ladders, scribing…


...to making tea, washing and tidying up! All of this support helps the day to run more smoothly and is greatly appreciated. A special shout for Linda who provided tasty tea cakes too and who celebrated her birthday yesterday, Happy Birthday Linda!


We have seen Mallard ducklings on the wetland, via the camera.  There is now, at least one duckling on the lake.

Mallard and Duckling

And finally.  I have been trying to take a good photo of a Cuckoo Flower showing its light pink/purple colour, but most have ended up white and totally washed out.  Another one was going to join the long list when I realised that it would not, because there in the middle of the flower was an orange egg.  The Orange Tip butterfly had been out on the flower meadow on the moor.

Cuckoo Flower and Orange Tip butterfly egg


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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


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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