[Maggie] I just can’t resist sharing another Wheatland Farm dragonfly/damselfly sighting…Continue reading “More beauties”
Oooh it’s dragonfly time again… This four spot chaser must have emerged from the wildlife pond near Balebarn Eco Lodge overnight. It wasn’t until we looked closely at the image that we spotted the shed larval ‘skin’ just to the left of the dragonfly – almost peeping around the grass.Continue reading “Four spot chasers back at the pond”
It must be pretty much summer when the damselflies are back. The first to make an appearance are these large red damselflies. Fabulously colourful!Continue reading “Damselflies back at the pond”
On a day that’s full of ecological doom and gloom in the news, here’s a ray of sunshine. This is the first dingy skipper we’ve seen at Wheatland Farm. They are one of Europe’s fastest declining butterflies, so it’s great to see one here. Dingy Skippers like birdsfoot trefoil in mid-height grassland, and our management regime offers lots of that.Continue reading “Butterfly brings flutter of hope”
We found this unusual bee, with it’s distinctive black and white markings, near Otter Cottage. It’s called a common mourning bee, though it’s not all that common. It is on the wing anytime between March and June.Continue reading “Bees that parasitise each other”
We’ve been seeing common carder bees for a few days now, but they can be tricky to photograph. Here’s our best bet so far.Continue reading “Common carder bees”
Seen it yet? It’s a streamer moth, Anticlea derivata. It took a few passes through the moth book to find it too.Continue reading “Spot the moth!”
Lovely to see! This holly blue butterfly was spotted soaking up some sunshine on the ivy at Otter Cottage.Continue reading “A Holly Blue Butterfly on the Ivy at Otter Cottage”
Nuthatches are nesting outside the lodges again – this pair can be watched from the window of Honeysuckle Lodge.Continue reading “Nuthatches nesting by the lodges”
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.Continue reading “Cake to celebrate that the swallows are back”
Easter has come early to Wheatland Farm. There are bunnies everywhere. One baby bunny spent a morning last week hanging around the farmhouse back door and ocassionally trying to jump through the glass. Today, we found a youngster in the turbine room – Wheatland Farm’s wet weather ‘garden/coffee room’. Here are a couple of clips. Spring has sprung!Continue reading “Baby bunnies”
Already, a bumbling bumblebee is less of a rare first sign of spring and more something to expect around the lodges when the March weather gives us some sunshine. Today, two species were out and about, enjoying the pollen on the willow trees at Wheatland Farm.Continue reading “More bumblebees enjoying spring sunshine”
Another gorgeous sunny half term day has brought this red admiral butterfly out of hibernation. Sometimes we find these lovely butterflies tucked up in the woodshed, or under the eaves of the lodges. This one has found some early blossom to fuel up on. There’s not much around in February, but every little helps.
It’s always a landmark when the first signs of spring come to Wheatland Farm. Today, two queen bumble bees, buff tailed bumble bees we think, were foraging on the snow drops behind the farm house. Lovely to see in the sunshine!Continue reading “First bumble bees of 2019”
November, not our favourite month, but at least the birds come to Wheatland Farm’s bird feeders. Goldfinch are frequent visitors and today marsh tit and coal tit joined the more common blue and great tits. Even better than that, woodcock are back on Popehouse Moor SSSI (in Devon we only see them in winter). Continue reading “Winter birds are back…”
During storm Callum, the phragmites at the main wildlife pond got a bit knocked about. They’re still standing – and one benefit is that the reed buntings are easier to spot now. Continue reading “Reed buntings at the wildlife pond”
Ivy provides a crucial source of nectar in the autumn months. The ivy cloaking our main barn at Wheatland Farm is literally buzzing on sunny days, with bees, butterflies and more.
If you sit still, southern hawker dragonflies at the edge of the Wheatland Farm wildlife pond might come and buzz you! Maggie was trying out a new mobile phone camera when Ian took this clip. Continue reading “Wildlife up close and personal!”
Sometimes you only see things for a few seconds, but they are still fabulous – like this kestrel pausing on the wires before dropping down in front of Balebarn Lodge at Wheatland Farm. The bird’s flight control far outpaces our camera control, but all the same, you get a glimpse. Awesome! Continue reading “Kestrel hunting in front of Balebarn Lodge”
This cutie was spotted just inside the barn door, possibly investigating the wood pile. But surely it’s a bit early in the year for hedgehogs to be looking for hibernation sites? Maybe it was just hunting slugs or checking out it’s own version of ‘eco lodge availability‘ in good time! Continue reading “Hedgehogs in the wood pile?”
One of the eco lodge wildlife cameras picked up this classic badger shot a few nights ago. We know they are about, but only sometimes glimpse Badgers.
But then again it’s not a good time of year for badgers in Devon – for those of you following these things, we think we are just outside this year’s badger cull zone – by a hair. Continue reading “Badger spotted on the wildlife camera”
House martins aren’t all that common here, though they nest up at Fiona’s Farm Shop (only half a mile away). But today there were masses feeding over the fields. Their aerobatics were just uncredible – this clip doesn’t really do them justice. It’s a wonder anyone got a clean lodge, given the birds’ mesmeric display. If you’ve arrived today, keep a look out for them and enjoy! Continue reading “A fleeting wildlife treat – house martins hunting over the lodge field”
Ian found this gorgeously warty toad in a log destined for the wood burner. So we shook him/her out into the long grass. Not before taking a couple of snaps though. Continue reading “Toad in the hole!”
[Maggie] I’ve been trying not to overwhelming these pages with dragonflies, but now it’s time for a catch up. Continue reading “A dragonfly update for the lodges”
This pretty little weasel was scurrying around the back door of the farmhouse. It was lovely to catch a glimpse, and even better to get a picture. Continue reading “A weasel at the back door”
Sometimes a duller day makes it easier to approach butterflies, like this stunning male common blue, resting on grass in the lodge field.
We’ve been digging some scrapes that will become mini reed beds – these will help us turn the eco lodge hot tub water to a wildlife advantage! Continue reading “Digging some scrapes to treat hot tub water and boost wildlife”