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Garden Birds

Friday, April 24th 2020

Some of the birds that visit the Field Centre back garden are found all year round. Blue Tits have declined in numbers over the years but are still plentiful. It may seem that gardens are quiet at the moment with fewer birds beeing seen. This is because they are busy nesting. Once the young hatch the feeders will be in high demand once again!

A smaller relative of the Blue Tit, the Coal Tit, is common throughout the year too.

Despite their name, Marsh Tits are most often found in broadleaf woodland, copses, parks and gardens. The Marsh Tit is so similar to the Willow Tit that ornithologists didn't realise they were two separate species until 1897! Marsh tits can be attracted to gardens near to woodland by putting out peanuts, sunflower seeds and fat balls.They are often seen on the bird feeders outside the kitchen window at Foxglove.

A species that appears to be growing in numbers everywhere is the Goldfinch.

One of the best plants for attracting Goldfinches is the teasel.  In summer teasels have pale purple flowers which attract bees, butterflies and moths. In autumn and winter Goldfinches feed on the seeds. Nyger seed is also one of their favourite foods and can be fed in special feeders all year round.

Almost a guaranteed sighting at Foxglove on the peanut feeders in the garden are Great Spotted Woodpeckers. 

Although a woodland bird, Nuthatches are also attracted to peanut feeders in gardens. These 'woodpecker-like' birds are adept at feeding whilst hanging upside down!

The Treecreeper is more elusive and is truly a woodland bird but may be spotted in a large garden. It is well camouflaged against tree bark and it is usually the movement of this bird that catches the eye. It is one to look out for on a walk in the woods. They are only thought to travel only about 20km from their territories.

This is in sharp contrast to Willow Warblers which are migratory birds, breeding in Europe and migrating to southern Africa for the winter. They arrive back in the UK in April and many of them breed at the reserve each year. This is an incredible journey for such a tiny animal weighing only 7g (the same as a twenty pence coin)!

Another summer visitor that has just returned after a long migration is the Blackcap. The male has a black cap, and the female a chestnut one. Its delightful fluting song has earned it the name 'northern nightingale'. Although primarily a summer visitor birds from Germany and north-east Europe are increasingly spending the winter in the UK.

Our sincere thanks to Mark Geering for providing the photographs for today's blog.

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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

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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