Saturday, 9 July 2011

A Dip in the Pond

Stuart and I did some pond dipping today to see what we could find living in there.  If you have followed my blog you will know that the pond was relined over the winter which took longer than expected because of the freezing conditions we had this last winter.  Because of this I was quite worried that we would not get much wildlife in there.  It is maturing very nicely now and the water, which became very green and murky with algae, is now clearer than it has ever been. This is due to adding barley straw extract and I think it was also helped by all the recent heavy rain we have had.  Here are two views of the pond.  I do not have the fountain and waterfall switched on because I would hate to think that the little tadpoles were being circulated through the pump and piping.  I think if I did have the pump on the water would probably stay clearer but we can't have everything. 

Frogs spawned in the pond in March which was a bit later than usual probably due to the bad winter.  There were lots of tadpoles a few weeks later. Don't know what happened to them because we have reached July and there are no little frogs yet.  At last I have seen a few with back legs so hopefully we will have frogs soon.  Caught one with legs today.

New to the pond this year are the newts.  They seem to have done very well and there are many little ones swimming around in there.  Most of them seem to have all their legs now but still have their gills. I think at this stage they are called efts.  This one looks quite big in the picture but it is only about 4cms long.

There are also lots of pond skaters which seem to feed on dead flies and other creatures that are floating on the water.  I saw a dead damsel fly one day that was being ravaged by several of them all at once. 

I introduced 5 water snails into the pond in March and they seem to have been breeding successfully.  Lots of little ones in there. This one is not much more than 1 cm in diameter.

The last thing we caught was this which I think is a water louse but not sure. 

Stuart also spotted a bee in the garden carrying a leaf.  It disappeared down a hole in the patio bricks where Stuart had been tormenting the ants with his water pistol.   I said I thought it was a leaf cutter bee and when he came  back indoors he looked up leaf cutter bees on the internet.  

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