Spring Watch

sandersj89

Well-Known Member
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.

Jerry
 

wadashot

Account Suspended
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 :lol:.

wadas
 

tika.308

Well-Known Member
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.
 

Heym SR20

Well-Known Member
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.
 

techman

Well-Known Member
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).
 

old keeper

Well-Known Member
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. :lol:
 

sandersj89

Well-Known Member
Re: spring watch.

old keeper said:
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. :lol:
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!

Jerry
 

JAYB

Administrator
Site Staff
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. :D :D

Keep it up.

John
 

old keeper

Well-Known Member
Hi Jerry, as it was some 50 years ago my recollection of the keepers name is a bit of a blank!! :confused:
I will keep an eye out on the site as doubtless you will advise when you are on the move, in the meantime all the best and good luck in your search for Sussex deer. :lol:
 

stone

Well-Known Member
jerry
another cracking post
thanks for these pics
i think i see 3 young kessie's looks like one at the back
but the barnies are fantastic
much appreciated
stone
 

sandersj89

Well-Known Member
old keeper said:
Hi Jerry, as it was some 50 years ago my recollection of the keepers name is a bit of a blank!! :confused:
I will keep an eye out on the site as doubtless you will advise when you are on the move, in the meantime all the best and good luck in your search for Sussex deer. :lol:
If it was 50 years ago then I will have to question Father, he bought the farm just about then off the old Lord Devon, proper gent and a fine shot with a 20bore on high and fast Devon pheasants! Shame they retained the sporting rights for 150 years, I wont ever get to shoot a pheasant on the old part of the farm....deer is not covered though! :D
 

sandersj89

Well-Known Member
stone said:
jerry
another cracking post
thanks for these pics
i think i see 3 young kessie's looks like one at the back
but the barnies are fantastic
much appreciated
stone
In fact we are pretty certain there were 5 last year out of that nest, which after the year before was a great improovement as they nested in an old air vent on a barn and only managed one....





They are nesting again this year, as are the barn owls so fingers crossed. With a bit of luck we have 2 pairs of barn owls, a second pair have moved into a box we placed 4 years ago in a new barn...... :D
 

sandersj89

Well-Known Member
JAYB said:
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. :D :D

Keep it up.

John
Cant stand either of them, end up throwing things at the TV when they are on!!!!
 

devon deer stalker

Well-Known Member
Excellent pictures, i thought it looked like the Exe valley, have to get together for a pint sometime with the old gamekeeper and swap stories!
 

sandersj89

Well-Known Member
devon deer stalker said:
Excellent pictures, i thought it looked like the Exe valley, have to get together for a pint sometime with the old gamekeeper and swap stories!
Would like that, my local when at the farm is the Nobody Inn at Doddiscombeliegh, not the nearest pub but a lot better than the Swan's Nest, Stowey Arms, The Oak in the village.

Other one I like if the Diggers Rest over at Woodbury Salterton.
:lol:
 

Gyr

Well-Known Member
Sanders
Great pics again,you have obviously put in a lot of work for the benefit of wildlife on the farm and it is plain to see it is paying dividends.
Well done and keep up the good work!
All the best,
Gyr
 

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