Wildlife at Swallow Barn

We are concentrating on shaping the landscape for wildlife. The barn sits in grounds of more than 2 acres which had been unmanaged for many years allowing rank and invasive weed species to gain a strong foothold. Following the conversion of the barn in 2009 we are changing this to the benefit of wildlife by allowing the grassland areas to grow and set seed whilst trying to keep pernicious weeds in check.
To date we have built low granite dry stone walls, created some flower beds using plants mainly selected for bees, and butterflies and other invertebrates, commenced planting a small orchard with a variety of fruit trees, sown a summer wild flower meadow and a buddleia bank which gives us lots of grasshoppers and butterflies. We have dug a pond which is seasonal and will be developed further in the future, at the moment it has been home to lots of amphibians and dragonflies and has been visited by various birds and deer.
We have planted hedgerows and at least 30 trees - not everything survives!
We are visited by many rabbits which give us some problems but you will often see buzzards circling so they are part of the food chain.
We have added bird boxes and are wondering where to site our tawny owl box. You may see or hear the owl at dusk.
The swallows have continued to nest every year since we completed our building works and you should see their signs outside the front door.
Animals to keep an eye open for in the garden are field voles, ocassional stoat and roe deer in the lower wooded areas, a heron often comes to the pond.
Swallows 2011wagtailGreen woodpeckerBull finch
Swallows in nest, pied wagtail, green woodpecker and bullfinch seeking out dock seeds.
Visitors are always welcome to contribute to ideas and to record sightings for inclusion on this website.
Dartmoor Nature Tours offer wildlife walks and tours to suit individual customer requirements.
Butterflies can  be seen at Lydford Old Railway, the sheltered embankments of this disused railway cutting are a haven for grassland butterflies.
Bird news for Devon including Dartmoor can be found at DBWPS. Further information is on the birding page.
Dartmoor National Park Authority leaflets are available on Wildlife and Habitats .

Birds seen at Swallow Barn

Blackbird Turdus merula
Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla
Bullfinch Pyrrhula pyrrhula
Buzzard Common Buteo buteo
Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs
Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita
Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo
Crow, Carrion Corvus corone
Cuckoo Cuculus canorus
Dove, Collared Streptopelia decaocto
Dove, Stock Columba oenas
Dunnock Prunella modularis
Falcon, Peregrine Falco peregrinus
Fieldfare Turdus pilaris
Flycatcher, Spotted Muscicapa striata
Goldcrest Regulus regulus
Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis
Goose, Canada Branta canadensis
Goshawk, Accipiter gentilis
Greenfinch Carduelis chloris
Gull, Black-headed Chroicocephalus ridibundus
Gull, Herring Larus argentatus
Gull, Great Black-backed Larus marinus
Gull, Lesser Black-backed Larus fuscus
Heron, Grey Ardea cinerea
Hobby Falco subbuteo
Jackdaw Corvus monedula
Jay Garrulus glandarius
Kestrel, Common Falco tinnunculus
Lapwing Vanellus vanellus
Lark, Sky Alauda arvensis
Linnet Carduelis cannabina
Magpie Pica pica
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
Martin, House Delichon urbicum
Nuthatch Sitta europaea
Owl, Tawny Strix aluco
Pigeon, Wood Columba palumbus
Pipit, Meadow Anthus pratensis
Raven Corvus corax
Redpoll Carduelis sp.
Redstart, Black Phoenicurus ochruros
Redwing Turdus iliacus
Robin Erithacus rubecula
Rook Corvus frugilegus
Sandpiper, Common Actitis hypoleucos
Siskin Carduelis spinus
Snipe Gallinago gallinago
Snipe, Jack  Lymnocryptes minimus
Sparrow, House Passer domesticus
Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus
Starling Sturnus vulgaris
Stonechat, European Saxicola rubicola
Swallow Hirundo rustica
Swift, Common Apus apus
Thrush, Mistle Turdus viscivorus
Thrush, Song Turdus philomelos
Tit, Blue Cyanistes caeruleus
Tit, Coal Periparus ater
Tit, Great Parus major
Tit, Long-tailed Aegithalos caudatus
Treecreeper, Common Certhia familiaris
Wagtail, Grey Motacilla cinerea
Wagtail, Pied Motacilla alba
Warbler, Willow Phylloscopus trochilus
Warbler, Wood Phylloscopus sibilatrix
Wheatear, Northern Oenanthe oenanthe
Whitethroat, Common Sylvia communis
Woodcock, Scolopax rusticola
Woodpecker, Great Spotted Dendrocopos major
Woodpecker, Green Picus viridis
Wren Troglodytes troglodytes



Roe deer  Capreolus capreolus
Stoat  Mustella eminea
Rabbit  Oryctalagus cuniculus
Field vole  Microtus agrestis
Fox Vulpes vulpes
Wood mouse  Apodemus syvaticus
Bat sp.


Large White  Pieris brassicae
Small White  Pieris rapae
Orange Tip  Anthocharis cardamines
Brimstone  Gonepteryx rhamni
Comma  Polygonia c-album
Small Tortoiseshell  Aglais urticae
Painted Lady  Vanessa cardui
Red Admiral  Vanessa atalanta
Peacock  Inachis io
Grayling  Hipparchia semele
Ringlet  Aphantopus hyperantus
Meadow Brown  Maniola jurtina
Gatekeeper  Pyronia tithonus
Speckled Wood  Parage aegeria
Small copper  Lycaena phlaeas
Common Blue  Polyommatus icarus
Large Skipper  Ochlodes venatus

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