Hovering sparrows

#30DaysWild no 23: The sparrows are learning to hover so they can get at the suspended feeders at Wheatland Farm!

We hang the bird seed up in teacups so the squirrels can’t make such an easy meal of it. And we use fat balls in teacups because we can make them ourselves and so loose grain doesn’t get spilt on the ground. While bank voles and woodmice are super welcome in the meadows and hedgerows around the eco lodges, we don’t want ‘ratty’ taking up residence around the buildings, and bird feeders can provide an attractive meal for them too. So hanging feeders are the answer.

Sparrows will usually feed on the ground, along with chaffinches and greenfinches (we’ve been seeing a pair of bullfinch in the past few days too). They generally take anything the more agile birds dislodge from the feeders – clearing up the crumbs. But this female sparrow has been taking aerial feeding lessons!

Previously on #30DaysWild

This time last year – we were seeing the first emerald damselflies around the wildlife pond below Balebarn Eco Lodge. Not so in 2021 – but they will emerge eventually. We think of them more as a July species at Wheatland Farm.

This time in 2019: we were watching a bumblebee wait out the rain amidst Wheatland Farm’s ox eye daisies. It’s a bit damp again today, but cloudy rather than rainy. Devon has had a decent mix of sunshine and rain this June.

This time in 2018: We were off to the pub – the Duke of York at Iddesleigh – where you can watch the house martins while enjoying a pint of Devon ale or cider outside. As covid restrictions lift, Devon pubs with beer gardens and outside tables and great places to relax. Our nearest pub to Wheatland Farm is the Kings Arms in Winkleigh. It’s about 2 miles away and you can borrow a farm bike to reach it.

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