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Moths, Dragons and Damsels

Saturday, July 21st 2018

Moths are not a favourite of some people, but they are a delightful group of creatures.  Amazingly they sat still for photos, instead of disappearing.

Barred Straw is often one that takes flight.  The larvae feed on bedstraws, of which there are plenty across the reserve.

Barred Straw

Some moths never vary in colour or pattern, but Common Rustic does.   This one had me searching through the book initially. 

Common Rustic

Who could not love this furry fellow - Iron Prominent?

Iron Prominent

Mother of Pearl is a beautiful moth.  Its larvae feed in a rolled up leaf of Nettle. 

Mother of Pearl

We have had several notable 'Dragon and Damsel' walks with Keith and June.  One had temperatures of 11 degrees, another the wind was blowing so strongly we were almost blown over and yet another was very, very wet!  Today was not ideal but it was warm, dry and no wind, the only thing lacking was sunshine.  However we were able to see a surprising amount.

The orchard is an excellent place for dragons and damsels to hunt.  The first caught was an Emerald Damselfly, which Keith showed to everyone, informing them of the colour changes that take place between emerging and maturity.

looking at a damselfly

The wetland provided us with sightings of Common and Azure Damselflies and a Black Darter.  Unfortunately the only photo I managed to take was in the hand, this being the correct way to release them. 

Black Darter

In the Scrapes a large dragonfly was spotted.  It was hunting around the small pond so those with nets set out to see if it could be caught.  Nets nil, dragonfly one!

Nets nil, dragonfly one

We followed it through various parts of the Scrapes to no avail, but it was probably the Golden-ringed Dragonfly that I had spotted earlier in the day.  So often these insects come to have a good look at you, decide you are too big to tackle and fly off, leaving you with not even a splodge!  This one sat absolutely still on Purple Loosestrife.  It was definitely being in the right place at the right time.

Golden-ringed Dragonfly

Keith and June gave much information about the various dragons and damsels we saw.  Everyone enjoyed the walk and the discussions.  Many thanks to Keith and June for leading this walk.


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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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