#30DaysWild No. 7 Devon Accommodation For Bees Too!

For today’s #30DaysWild Ian has made a bee box, with a sliding panel that should let us see what’s inside, once it’s occupied.

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A Water Shrew at the Wheatland Wildlife Pond

Our random act of wildness for day 6 of #30DaysWild is to follow in the footsteps of our recent guests in Otter Cottage, and sit stil enough to see the water shrew living at the wildlife pond. Here’s a clip we put together.

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#30DaysWild 2: Water Stick Insect

#30DaysWild Today’s random act of wildness, by request from our guests in Balebarn Eco Lodge, is to look up and report back on this beastie. It seems it’s a Water Stick Insect, reaching up to 7cm long if you include it’s long tail-end snorkel.

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#30DaysWild starts today!

#30DaysWild starts today! Every day this June Wheatland Farm will be doing something wild as part of the Wildlife Trust’s month long project. We’ll be spotting Devon wildlife around the eco lodges, doing some land management, lobbying, looking, learning, and just recording lots of #10WildMinutes.

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Four spot chasers back at the pond

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.

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Butterfly brings flutter of hope

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.

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Bees that parasitise each other

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.

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Sunshine and Butterflies

The blue skies have brought out more buttterflies around the eco lodges. Peacocks are already out of hibernation, we’ve seen a comma, and those heralds of Devon’s spring, the organge tip butterflies, are on the wing again.

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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.

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Baby bunnies

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!

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More bumblebees enjoying spring sunshine

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.

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A Half Term Red Admiral Butterfly!

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.

First bumble bees of 2019

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!

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The bat survey is back

The second Wheatland Farm bat survey is back. We’re definitely up to 9 species, and possibly more. So keep your eyes peeled. We’re pretty sure bats roost in the roofs of some of the eco lodges (don’t worry, they won’t come in!). Continue reading “The bat survey is back”

Winter birds are back…

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…”

Reed buntings at the wildlife pond

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”