The Pond Diary

April - 2003

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1 April - During March I had to top up the ponds a number of times - today's rain provided only a little bit to raise the water level.

Last night I spent a short time looking out for the newts and only saw one male, but I did spot this flatworm moving along the surface. Nearly 25mm long, I think it is Dendrocoelum lacteum. It moves quite quickly and it wasn't possible to get a 'clear shot' of it, hence the two images.

Although I sometimes find this flatworm on vegetation that I take out of the pond, I rarely see it moving about like this.

Click on the image to see a larger version

I've seen the first tadpoles swimming out from the shallow spawning area of the pond - I would expect to see a lot more do this in the days to come.


5 April - One of the characteristics of summer in the ponds is the congregating of the frogs in favourite spots.

They have started doing this in the big pond. This picture shows seven frogs, part of a group of at least twelve, gathered under the edge of thick vegetation.

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The newts continue to lay eggs and even though a few have ventured into deeper water, most of the developing tadpoles still remain in concentrations in the shallow area wher the spawn was deposited by the frogs.



29 April - I haven't been neglecting my pond - I've just left it alone for a while!

The tadpoles are growing well and are everywhere in the pond now. The newts can be seen active amongst the weed just under the surface and I expect that they are still egg laying. I scooped out some floating weed into a container to check it today and saw a number of newt embryos attached to Ivy-Leaved Duckweed (Lemna trisulca). I hope to get some photographs of this tomorrow.

In one of the scoops I caught this water beetle which may be the one I spotted a couple of times earlier this Spring. I have yet to identify it.

Taking a photograph of it was a bit tricky as it swims very quickly. Every-so-often it would pause, with the tip of its abdomen breaking the surface of the water, as in the main picture, before diving again with a silvery air bubble attached. As the top picture shows, it is about 1cm long.

The white marks on its back look curious. In the larger image they seem to have a definite shape, suggesting that the beetle may be playing host to something.

Click on the image to see a larger version

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