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Sylvia Warblers

Tuesday, May 5th 2020

In bird taxonomy the warblers are a large family of insect-eaters. Sylvia warblers live in dense thorny thickets and woodland and there are three species that can be found at Foxglove during May. The Garden Warbler (Sylvia Borin) is a summer visitor and has only just arrived back from tropical Africa. It has an 'anonymous' appearance; an olive brown-grey colour and has no obvious features. 

The Whitethroat (Sylvia communis) is also a summer visitor spending its winters South of the Sahara. The female (pictured here) has a brownish head whereas the male has a grey head. 

The Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) is similar in build to the Garden Warbler but is grey above and olive-grey below. The male has a black cap and the female has a rufous brown one. Since the 1960s, the number of Blackcaps which spend winter in the UK has increased. They can now be seen in some gardens all year round. Scientists believe this could be due to the bird food put out by people which makes spending the winter here a viable option for Blackcaps.

If you see a Blackcap during winter, you can add details of your sighting to Birdtrack, a BTO, RSPB and Birdwatch Ireland project. By collecting information about where birds are when, more can be learned about their changing behaviour and populations.


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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The events programme has been temporarily withdrawn.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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