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”
What an awesome creature! Scale the whole thing up and put that ‘horn’ on the front and you’d have a formidable weapon of war. Continue reading “Not a reverse rhino, but a dark bush cricket”
The Big Butterfly Count is back on! It runs from today, 20 July until 12 August. Here’s our first counts for 2018: Continue reading “Big Butterfly Counts start again”
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. 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”
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 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…”
#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. 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”
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”
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. 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”
Glorious weather, and the moon was out during the day. A good day to just sit and think a bit.
#30DaysWild No. 20. It was a fabulous sunny morning at Haldon Forest park near Exeter – Maggie was there for a training day, finding out how the Forestry Commission get young people outside and active – and of course a bit wild too. Continue reading “#30DaysWild No. 20 Exploring Haldon Forest”