The Frog and Pond Diary

April (part 1) - 2002

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1 April - A suitable piece of performance art to put forward for a Turner Prize? - In fact a continuously changing pattern of bubbles produced by the hundreds of tadpoles that have now congregated in part of the shallow end of the pond.

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3 April - The frogs were enjoying the brilliant weather today and all over the pond there were pairs of eyes watching for 'food' to move their way.

These two were watching the bank for food and were tempted up out of the water using a few mealworms.

The leader has raised its body up into a potential 'strike' position and to get a better view. Unfortunately, it is not interested in something that does not move, so if the mealworm stays still for long enough the frog loses interest and goes elsewhere.

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In a few minutes over a dozen frogs were lined up along this bit of bank, and I spent a pleasurable time feeding them as well.


4 April - Another good day for feeding the frogs and tidying up around the pond.

The frog population now consists of several generations, judging by the variety of sizes, and In the last day or two I have started to spot 'first year' frogs, ones that developed from tadpoles last Spring. This little one, measuring just over 1cm long was in the undergrowth in a corner of the big pond.

A measure of the good weather we have been having was the need this morning to top up the pond. Rather than use a garden hose directly into the pond, I direct the water into the water butt. This mixes it with the rain water already stored there. The water then flows through an underground pipe and into the shallow end of the big pond.


The tadpoles have now spread themselves to all corners of the pond, and I have just (7.20pm) seen one being caught by a newt - but not this one!

This young newt was spotted when I took a close look at a bit of pond at about 9pm. Measuring about 4cm in length, it still bears a good set of external gills, so I guess it been here since hatching last Spring.

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9 April - I've got to do some catching up with pond matters, although probably not much today.

Here, to start with are a couple of images of the tadpoles whose development I have been following since their spawn was produced on 7 March. Their skin is now more mottled, they measure 15-16mm in length, and will not keep still to have their photographs taken!

You can just make out their mouths which are constantly rasping at the algae growing on the plants and glass of the tank.


While the young newt pictured above is still with us from last Spring, the early laid eggs of this Spring are already well developed, as this picture shows. The eggs, and developing embryos are small and inconspicuous, hidden as they are under leaves or even in folded leaves.

Newt egg laying will go on for a long time yet, with the eggs being deposted individually and distributed all over the pond.




16 April - There have been too many things to be done recently and I have been neglecting this diary. Well, there are still plenty of frogs to be seen. Last night I counted 30 at the surface and this afternoon's sunshine brought quite a few of them to the sunny side of the pond.

While looking at the tadpoles I spotted a couple ofdead leaves on the move. A close look revealed a cadis-fly larva. This is the first time I've seen one of these in the pond

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At the base of the log in the pond the Liverworts are now sending up their Umbrellas, part of their compicated reproductive system. I recorded information about these in the diary entry for 28 June 2001

2002 Frog & Pond Diary Index................LLast Month......................April (part 2)