July butterflies – commas, small skippers and silver washed fritillaries

It’s the first week of July, and already there are new butterflies on the wing at Wheatland Farm. And they’re all looking pretty orange. Continue reading “July butterflies – commas, small skippers and silver washed fritillaries”

#30DaysWild No. 30 Sundowners in the turbine field

#30DaysWild No. 30. Last day of June, and a sunny day, so a perfect opportunity to revive the ‘go out for drinks – to the middle of a Devon field’ traditional Saturday evening activity. Euan had to take his orange juice in an old nutella jar with lid, so it didn’t spill while on the quad bike!

This time last year: Which way now?

#30DaysWild No. 29 If I can’t see you then you can’t see me

#30DaysWild No. 29 This rabbit thinks we can’t see it if it can’t (well sort of can’t) see us… But apparently that’s almost true in a funny way. Researchers are saying even the UK’s common species of mammals are under-recorded, making it hard to know how they are faring. So we need to know more, and everyone can help Continue reading “#30DaysWild No. 29 If I can’t see you then you can’t see me”

#30DaysWild No. 28 ‘Never seen so many butterflies…’

On today’s wildlife walk one of our lovely guests, staying at Honeysuckle Lodge, said she’d never seen so many butterflies outside of a butterfly farm. That’s a good thing to hear! The fields are a-flutter at the moment that’s for sure. Continue reading “#30DaysWild No. 28 ‘Never seen so many butterflies…’”

#30DaysWild No. 27 You spin me round round baby right round…

#30DaysWild No. 27 We’ve refilled the bird feeders, and this Great Spotted Woodpecker is back. But the clip shows it having a ride, as well as a snack. We have to have the strings long to deter the squirrels but surely this must take your concentration away from pecking?? Continue reading “#30DaysWild No. 27 You spin me round round baby right round…”

Your stay raises money for wildlife – Thanks!

#30DaysWild No. 26. We want to say a big big thanks to all you lovely guests who pay for your stay at Wheatland Farm by BACS – the lower banking charge means we can give £5 to the Devon Wildlife Trust for every booking paid that way. Continue reading “Your stay raises money for wildlife – Thanks!”

#30DaysWild No. 25 A Walk on the Wild Side

#30DaysWild No. 25. June – one of the best times to see the wildflowers here at Wheatland Farm. Of course, Popehouse Moor SSSI is glorious, but the rest of the farm is pretty good too. This is the path around the wildlife pond Continue reading “#30DaysWild No. 25 A Walk on the Wild Side”

#30DaysWild No. 24 Picking Wild Strawberries

It’s a small seasonal treat – not quite as luscious as a punnet of English hothouse strawberries, but all the more tasty for being a bit scarce. Wild strawberries grow around the farmyard, and especially outside Otter Cottage. Continue reading “#30DaysWild No. 24 Picking Wild Strawberries”

#30DaysWild No. 23. Counting hirundines (aka bike to the pub for a pint)

It was a lovely evening for a cycle ride and a spot of bird watching! We invited George along but he declined. Maybe we weren’t quite specific enough about the wildlife location. Continue reading “#30DaysWild No. 23. Counting hirundines (aka bike to the pub for a pint)”

#30DaysWild No. 22 Four spot chaser

#30DaysWild No. 22. We couldn’t resist another dragonfly picture from the Wheatland Farm wildlife pond. This one is a four spot chaser. That’s another species to add to the growing list. Continue reading “#30DaysWild No. 22 Four spot chaser”

#30DaysWild No. 19 Small Copper

#30DaysWild No. 19 Well, since it’s National Insect Week, let’s continue the theme. A bit prettier than yesterday’s caterpillars – this is a small copper buttterfly resting on dry grass on Popehouse Moor SSSI. Continue reading “#30DaysWild No. 19 Small Copper”

#30DaysWild No. 18 Caterpillars take over at the wildlife pond!

Something is munching the yellow flag leaves at the wildlife pond in front of Balebarn Lodge, and it looks like it’s iris sawfly caterpillars, Rhadinoceraea micans. Continue reading “#30DaysWild No. 18 Caterpillars take over at the wildlife pond!”

#30DaysWild No. 17 Badgers in the early morning

You’ll have to get up early to see this guy – videoed on the wildlife camera a few days ago (we’ve just brought it in). But one of last week’s guests in Honeysuckle Lodge did spot a badger down by the wildlife pond one evening, so it’s worth keeping your eyes open. Continue reading “#30DaysWild No. 17 Badgers in the early morning”

#30DaysWild No. 16 Planting teasels to attract goldfinches

#30DaysWild No. 16: We’re planting out weed seedlings – these are teasels that popped up in a flower pot. They’ll be more use in the lodge field where they should grow big, flower, and then attract winter goldfinches, which are such a treat to watch. Continue reading “#30DaysWild No. 16 Planting teasels to attract goldfinches”

#30DaysWild No. 15 ‘Stuck in a holding pattern’

#30DaysWild No. 15. Think the skies are busy over Heathrow? Try the airspace at Wheatland Farm! We think these are hoverflies of some kind. Watch the clip to see their amzaing flying skills. Continue reading “#30DaysWild No. 15 ‘Stuck in a holding pattern’”

#30DaysWild No. 12 Large Skipper Butterfly

These little butterflies are flitting around our Devon meadows at the moment – they look a bit dull at first, but take a closer look and they are as pretty as any other butterfly. #30DaysWild No. 12. Continue reading “#30DaysWild No. 12 Large Skipper Butterfly”

Emperor dragonflies at the wildlife pond

#30DaysWild No. 11. Emperor dragonflies are busy at the wildlife pond in front of Balebarn Lodge. The males patrol territories, but they are fast fliers and difficult to photograph. Even when they rest they don’t stay perched for long. The females however spend a bit of time depositing their eggs into the pond weed, as this clip shows. Continue reading “Emperor dragonflies at the wildlife pond”

Heath Spotted Orchids in full flower #30DaysWild No. 10

Early to mid June is the best time of year to sit amongst the carpet of orchids down on Popehouse Moor SSSI. Here’s a clip we made 2 years ago to show how many orchids there are. If you do one thing wild today, make it enjoying a wild flower near you! #30DaysWild No. 10. Continue reading “Heath Spotted Orchids in full flower #30DaysWild No. 10”

Explore where our water comes from #30DaysWild No. 9

Here’s a wild idea – head up to Dartmoor and start to really appreciate where our lovely fresh Devon water comes from.  Clear your head, maybe get a different perspective on things, and commit to keeping unnecessary plastic out of the bins. #30DaysWild No. 9. Continue reading “Explore where our water comes from #30DaysWild No. 9”

Pale and interesting… 30DaysWild No. 8

It’s an overcast day, but sometimes that helps the less flashy wildlife stand out. This lovely moth was resting on buttercup leaves. We think it must be a Blood vein, Timandra comae. You can see why! #30DaysWild No. 8 Continue reading “Pale and interesting… 30DaysWild No. 8”

Annual exodus from the wildlife pond #30DaysWild No. 7

It’s time for the frogs – or are they toads – to leave the pond. #30DaysWild? This clip suggests they’re hopping mad. And then again, some of these littlies appear to be walking, so the ‘frogs hop, toads walk’ idea doesn’t seem to help much. Continue reading “Annual exodus from the wildlife pond #30DaysWild No. 7”

Lemon balm tea

#30DaysWild No. 4. Time for tea – made with a sprig of something wildish from the herb garden. Lemon balm not nettles!  It’s great iced too, especially in this hot weather. No tea bags, so no plastic guilt. OK, so it’s not a substitute for a brew of builders’ tea, but it suits the occassion. Continue reading “Lemon balm tea”

30 Days Wild 3: Southern Marsh Orchids

30 Days Wild No. 3. Seeking out a Southern Marsh Orchid. We don’t have many of these (unlike the Heath Spotted Orchids that will be coming out soon). They are restricted to the especially wet bits on Popehouse Moor SSSI and you won’t find them up near the lodges. Continue reading “30 Days Wild 3: Southern Marsh Orchids”

30 Days Wild 2: A Speckled Wood Butterfly

30 Days Wild No. 2. Damselflies yesterday, a butterfly today. Our random act of wildness it to find a butterfly – and this one is a speckled wood, common along the path behind the eco lodges, and anywhere with dappled sunshine. They’re prettier in flight than they are perched on a leaf, but that’s harder to capture.

Continue reading “30 Days Wild 2: A Speckled Wood Butterfly”

30 Days Wild 1: Beautiful damsels, not in distress

It’s The Wildlife Trusts’ 30 Days Wild again – a chance to do (and share) something wild every day in the month of June. That’s good timing, because our wildlife is at its best in early summer, and this year we’re on a bit of a mission to record the plants and animals at Wheatland Farm.

One of the groups we’re tackling is damselflies (and dragonflies). We want to know what our five ponds have to offer. Here’s what’s flying around the wildlife pond at the moment.  Continue reading “30 Days Wild 1: Beautiful damsels, not in distress”