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Thread: Spring Watch

  1. #1

    Spring Watch

    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.


  2. #2
    Once again, great pics and plenty of wildlife, well done with your conservation efforts, OH, and the deer aswell

    Glad to see "BIG" Bill oddity is nowhere in sight .


  3. #3

  4. #4
    great photos,the difference in things down there to up here in north staffordshire,the trees are just starting to green up and i saw my first swallows last thursday.i have been to powderham castle a few times hope to be down that way again in the summer.lovely part of the country.

  5. #5
    Great photos - thanks for sharing them with us

  6. #6

    Swifts and Ducks

    Can't post any pictures - but just looking out from Office window across edinburgh - top floor roof windows - just seen a pair of Mallard Ducks sitting on the roof of another block of flats opposite.

    Also has anybody seen any Swifts yet this year. Have seen a few swallows, but would expect to have lots of Swifts wheeling around by now - they nest opposite us.

    But we have hada very cold spring. Up in the highlands at the weekend and still lots of snow above 2,500 ft.

  7. #7

    Spring watch

    Sanders, great photos. Hope the move goes well.

    Heym SR20, Saw a bunch of swifts Saturday evening while enjoying barbied venison at a daughter's home in Faringon (Oxfordshire).

  8. #8

    spring watch.

    Hi Sanders, Nice to see all our Devon wildlife hasn't been caught, bought or otherwise rounded up by the Beeb and sent to a certain piece of laaaaaaaaand in the North of our fair county. many years ago I was involved in a cull on Powderham and ended up being shot! I liked the glimpse of the Exe estuary in one of the pics, I spent a lot of time in your area as a lad and very nice it is too. I am not sure where you are moving from, but I doubt you will ever regret being down here. May bump into you one day.

  9. #9

    Re: spring watch.

    Quote Originally Posted by old keeper
    many years ago I was involved in a cull on Powderham and ended up being shot! I liked the glimpse of the Exe estuary in one of the pics, I spent a lot of time in your area as a lad and very nice it is too. I am not sure where you are moving from, but I doubt you will ever regret being down here. May bump into you one day.
    Who was the keeper then, was he a chap by the name of Ian?

    Moving from Sussex, once we are back down there it will be nice to touch base with like minded souls!


  10. #10
    Those photo's and your post's about the farm and the wildlife, the results of your conservation efforts and sympathetic farming are wonderful. If it was not for the fact that you know what you are talking about, you could be confused with the Oddity (Bill) and the other Devon-shire laaaaaand owner.

    Keep it up.


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