Cake to celebrate that the swallows are back

Fantastic! The swallows are back around Wheatland Farm’s Devon eco lodges, so it’s time for the annual celebration cake – baked when the first swallow of summer is seen actually at the farm.

But they are too fast for a new photo, so we’ve made do with the cake, and a quick recap of previous swallow stories and dates.

Swallows return 2018 – about the 12th of April

Swallows return 2017 – 9th April

Swallows return 2016, 7 April

Swallows nesting in the barn. This post was back in 2013. And the not so good news is the numbers have been tailing off ever since we arrived at Wheatland Farm in 2006 (when we had nine nests). At first we thought it was because we no longer have horses in the stables (so fewer flies around potential nesting sites maybe). But our other management actions should have boosted insects, and we still get visiting flocks of hungry house martins, in the lodge field in summer. Plus the neighbours have horses all around us. So perhaps it’s just symptomatic of the general decline in wildlife all around us. We do what we can, but this is a problem that will take a lot more than one small Devon nature reserve to fix.