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CES 6 - A Great Tit Day Amongst Other Things!

Sunday, July 1st 2018

By 0400 we were all in the ringing room collecting bags, papers and nets getting ready for CES 6.  It was cool and the lake had small clouds of mist hanging over it, as the sun rose.

A misty lake

At the early hour it is interesting to check the Field Centre wall for moths.  A Poplar Hawkmoth was rescued as it was very close to a spider's web.  When placed on a tree leaf it held its wings open, so its red warning flashes could be seen.

Poplar Hawkmoth

Net rounds were carried out and many birds arrived in the ringing room, including a juvenile Robin with more red feathers than two weeks ago.  In all 12 new Robins were ringed.

Juvenile Robin

A call on the radio warned ringers to tread carefully over the weir as there was a 'hatch' of Common Frogs leaving the lake.  I went hunting for them and could see none, so I thought that they had all dispersed but as I stood still, the ground started to move as tiny Common Frogs were hopping and walking around in the undergrowth.

Tiny Common Frog

A walk through the Scrapes and something was on the Water Vole raft, a young Moorhen having a really good feed of the apple!

Moorhen feeding on apple

Back in the ringing room a Tawny Owl was retrapped.  This was a stunning bird.  When released it flew away on silent wings.

Tawny Owl

Tawny Owls regularly use our special nest boxes to rear their young.  There are Barn Owls on the training area around Foxglove but this year is the first time that they have bred on the reserve.  The three chicks at three weeks old were old enough to ring.  They will probably remain in their nest for at least another three weeks.

Juvenile Long-tailed Tits were processed and are just a little smaller than the owls ringed!

Long-tailed Tit

Mrs Tufty Two was relaxing with her youngsters on the tree in the lake.

Mrs Tufty Two and young

I was pleased to see Pisaura mirabilis last week and even more pleased when I spotted several webs today.  A photograph enlarged, amazingly, shows spiderlings inside the protective web.

Spiderlings of Pisaura mirabilis

After ten and a half hours the nets were taken down, numbers crunched and it was found to be the second biggest catch for CES 6, with 253 birds processed.  In 2006, we caught 274. 

In the total 24 new Great Tits were ringed and 53 were retrapped.  Most of these birds were juveniles.  Chaffinch and Bullfinch numbers were higher than of late.  It was a real pleasure to see 32 new Willow Warblers ringed.  Some of the juveniles were already beginning their post juvenile moult.  Many adult birds are now hiding away as they moult, after working hard to rear their young. 

Such a busy day would not have been successful without all the help and support from the bird ringers, volunteers who prepared the net rides and those who provided food and cups of tea.  A huge thank you to everyone.


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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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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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