We have exciting news from the farm with lots of new arrivals born recently!!
Geri, our best loved Kune Kune sow, gave birth to four gorgeous piglets on June 21st Here they are within minutes of birth, enjoying their very first feed and nestling in the barnyard. They will soon be running around our barnyard and trotting after their mum, to the delight of our wedding guests!
On mid-summer’s day our beautiful white peahen started to brood five eggs. The hatching date forecast is in 32 days time so watch this space! Here is our peahen brooding in the aviary behind the Barnyard.
Usually our white peacocks would be roaming the gardens, but due to Avian Bird Flu we must keep them in their spacious aviaries for the time being. Visitors can see her in her aviary, along with her two beautiful daughters and the magnificent male, by walking through the herb garden, into the kitchen garden and peeping behind the Hornbeam Hedge
Bantams and Duckling
Our second set of incubated eggs have hatched so we now have ten more Belgian Bantam chicks and four adorable Runner Ducklings
Our first Bantams to hatch are now exactly 8 weeks old, fully feathered and now living with the Peacocks. The Runner Duckling who was living with the bantam chicks has now joined his biological parents in our free-range chicken paddock, where they share a pond together.
We are thrilled that one of our major ornithological successes has been the arrival of three pairs of the very rare and endangered Spotted Flycatchers to nest in the gardens. We have two pairs in the Winter Garden and one pair in the nuttery behind the Lamb Paddock.
Our gardens and grounds provide a rich and varied habitat, with plenty of nesting cover, natural food and an amazing range of wildlife and flora. We don’t use agricultural chemicals, fertilisers, herbicides or insecticides and our extensive planting delivers a constant supply of insects, wildflowers and a rich and varied ecosystem. The Spotted Flycatchers are remarkable little birds who are so welcome here. They make an incredible journey across the Sahara to their wintering grounds in equatorial Africa. We are thrilled they returned to South Farm again this year.
Kestrel Chicks Thriving
Sadly the battle between our female kestrel and the Jackdaw intruder, mentioned in an earlier Spring Watch updated, damaged two of the kestrel eggs. But the two chicks that have hatched are growing quickly and starting to feather up, living on a regular diet of voles, mice and even small rats brought to them by their hard- working mother several times a day. They make complusive viewing via our live nest box stream. Although we watch their nest boxes avidly we cannot possibly watch all the time so if anyone catches them at feeding time and takes a screen shot we would love to see it! A specialist plans to ring both chicks before they fledge and leave the nest box in two- or three-weeks’ time.
We have had a vixen fox visit our garden every evening,hoovering up any morsels of canapés dropped in the gardens. We captured a photo of her just yards from the garden bar – apologies for the poor photo quality but it’s difficult to get close. We believe she has fox cubs to feed so will keep a close eye out for them!
Dabchicks On the lake at our Nature Reserve nearby a pair of Dabchicks, also called Little Grebes, have hatched five little chicks. As Dabchicks do, they use their Mum as a raft to cross the lake
Baby Frogs by the thousand are leaving the three garden ponds and the 3-acre lake at our Nature Reserve.
Dublin Bay Rose– is our a superb red fragrant rose that thrives especially well on the front facade of our farm house and our small holding barn. The Dublin Bay rose blooms again in late summer. We dry the falling petals for confetti along with the rose plants we grow in our small-holding for confetti showers after South Farm Wedding Ceremonies!
Sheep and Lambs
As you can see our lambs and sheep are thriving and enjoying the paddocks and the company of wedding guests who visit them. They make a stunning photo when the sun is setting!
Our gardens are looking stunning with colourful flowers in bloom making a wonderful habitat for wildlife but also a perfect backdrop for a dream wedding day. We’re so proud of our eco-friendly initiatives and sustainable wedding venue. We’ll be sharing more from the farm and gardens soon. Check out our Instagram feed and Facebook page for more photos and updates!