Another post from the Farm, these pics came from a 3 day trip last May, what with running up and down to Devon in the last few months sorting out schools for the kids etc not had a chance to look at things much this spring but we should get a decent result given the conservation efforts we put in:
Just back from a few days at the farm in Devon and I thought I would share some of the pictures I managed to take whilst there. The activity on the farm at the moment is quite staggering and we have a number of important successes at the moment.
This is the view from my window every evening, looking East:
The swallows have arrived and are busy sitting tight, this one is nesting in a passage up to the utility room of the farmhouse, they have used the same nest for over 10 years and over winter a wren normal squats:
We also get lots of house martins:
This is one of the ponds on the farm, we dug this out about 20 years ago and used to stock with trout, the largest I caught was just under 10lb. Not been stocked for a while but I am planning to in the near future. Good population of eels plus a resident population of moorhens that breed very well, we also get a few ducks nesting but in winter you count in over 50 mallard and a few teal most evenings.
Here is a wild mallard heading back to her nest:
We have a large badger set, been there longer than I have been on this earth, but I did not have time to sit up one evening to try and see if there are cubs, the spore at the tunnel entrances indicates there are:
Looking down into the main entrance:
Plenty of rabbits about:
I also managed to locate a pigeon nest:
I watched for a bit and then went back when the mother had flown of for a bite to eat:
Talking of nest this hen pheasant had decided to nest in the garden:
10 eggs…fingers crossed:
I think this may be dad:
These doves have also appeared out of no where in the last few years, they are nesting in a new barn we put up about 15 years ago:
The farm is close to Powderham Castle, they have a large deer park full of fallow, as a result we get a few on the farm from time to time, I spent about 30 mins stalking these so apologise for the poor pictures, there was a fawn there as well but he legged it too quick for me to get a shot:
But I am saving the best to last, first a little owl, not a great photo as it was late but I do like them:
We also have had the kestrels return though they decided to nest in a large oak tree rather than a ledge on the barns, two chicks that I can see but hopefully more:
Then the best off all, the barn owls are doing well, they have bred the last 5 years with good returns, I believe there to be at least 3 chicks this year and they are about to fledge, very early.
So, things are looking good on the wildlife stakes at the farm, the work we have done with owl boxes, beetle banks, pond renovation, rough strips and bird seed mixes is paying dividends it seems! Should be good this winter as well as we have sown just over 5 acres in spots around the farm of a dedicated wild bird seed mix.