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Ringing Update

Sunday, August 8th 2021

The Swaledale Ringing Group have had an extremely busy year so far. Over 100 large nest boxes were checked and monitored earlier in the year and many Kestrels, Tawny Owls and Barn Owls were ringed as a result. In addition over 500 nest records have been recorded for small nest boxes. These were home to Blue Tits, Great Tits, Pied Flycatchers, Redstart and Marsh Tits plus a few bees, wasps and even mice! Open nests have also been studied such as this Swallow nest which has produced two broods of 3 chicks.

The tenth CES (Constant Effort Scheme) visit was carried out today meaning a 5am start for the team who were rewarded with this stunning rainbow over the Field Centre!

As usual for Foxglove the species of the day was Bullfinch with 18 new ones being ringed. The weather wasn't as bad as was forecast and although the session ended early this was due to high winds rather than rain. 

The group have broken a couple of records this year (compared to previous years) with the ringing of over 400 Black-headed Gulls and an amazing 38 Buzzard chicks. This all involves a huge amount of effort in finding the nests, observing the birds and then actually reaching them in the tree tops! Huge thanks to Martin Robson who found over 18 nests this year and to Sean Stockdale from Yorkshire Tree Specialists who climbed to the nests and lowered the chicks down to be ringed. He also waited patiently in the canopy before carefully returning them to their nests.

The Buzzard chicks varied in age from young ones still covered in down…

...to ones over 40 days old with most of their flight feathers…

...and everything in between!

Out on the training area hundreds of waders have been ringed (Curlew, Lapwing, Oystercatcher and Golden Plover) and we are continuing to work alongside and train gamekeepers to ring waders on their patch too. 

Other exciting opportunities have included ringing raptors such as Merlin chicks.

Finally, we have been involved with the monitoring of Hen Harriers in the North of England too. 

Thank you to everyone who has involved us in their projects, each experience is a huge privilege and to all of the ringers who have spent hours of their time helping out with all of the above! 


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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


Pumpkin Trail

Saturday 23rd October 2021 | 10.00am - 3.00pm

Come to the reserve half term 23rd - 31st October and enjoy the autumn colours on the red route (Easy Access Trail) and search for the pumpkin clues along the way. Test your knowledge of the creatures associated with Halloween by answering the fun quiz which is available from the visitor centre for only 50p.

No need to book, come and enjoy some fresh air with your family bubble. Don't forget your wellies and a pencil!



Owl Pellet Discovery

Sunday 24th October 2021 | 11.00am start

Come and find out what the owls at Foxglove Covert have been eating by examining owl pellet contents.

Recommended for ages 7 years upwards. 

Booking is essential as places are limited.

Suggested minimum donation of £3.00 per person. Please donate in advance to secure a place.

This event is free for Volunteers and Friends of the reserve.



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Undergrowth Newsletter Winter 2020/21 Issue 54
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Find out what has been going on at the reserve during the lockdown!

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