Thursday, 26 February 2015

More frogs and nuptial pad

Over 25 frogs in the pond today, possibly more beneath the surface.
I intercepted this frog on the way to the pond and placed it in a container for a few minutes to have a closer look

This is a male. You can see the nuptial pads on the toe of the front leg. The frog uses these pads to help grip the female while mating.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

More frogs

More frogs and more spawn

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Common frogs return to the pond.

First frog appeared in the pond overnight yesterday morning.

Today a few more heads in the pond. The first frogs to arrive are usually from my garden, but others come over the following days and I have seen them come into our front garden and make their way around to the back garden where the pond is.
Two clumps of spawn also appeared overnight. They had only recently been laid as they had yet to swell up to full size. The jelly around the eggs absorbs water and the spawn clump more than doubles in size.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Chiffchaff enjoys overgrown garden

A visiting chiffchaff, probably a garden warbler, demonstrates why its important to leave your garden a little untidy during the winter.
This chiffchaff is seeking insects and other natural food in the garden including old overgrown flower pots.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Great tits and robin visit the bird bath.

Cold icy weather means that standing water often remains frozen and birds struggle to find water. 
Keeping your bird bath free of ice is not just a vital lifeline for garden birds but also an opportunity  to see some garden birds up close.
Water to bathe in is just as important for birds, especially in winter. It is essential that they keep their feathers in good condition, and bathing is an important part of feather maintenance. The great tits have become daily visitors to the small bird bath in my front garden.

After a bath, the great tits fly up to the nearby buddleia bush When preening, birds carefully rearranges their feathers and spreads oil from the preen gland so the feathers remain waterproof and trap an insulating layer of air underneath to keep them warm.

Keeping warm is of course especially important in the winter.

One or more robins (there is a pair that visits from across the road), also come to the bird bath for a drink and the occasional bath.