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An Essex Wildlife Garden Update!

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GemmaJF View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Sep 2017 at 4:08pm
Thanks guys, much as Chris has said even after all the years, these things still give me a big WOW. It's been a bit of a battle to get the wildlife garden back where it was 10 years ago, but now I really feel all is right again.

Been up to the compost a couple of times since and not seen more, though I do not want disturb it too much while hatchlings are in there. 

Other news is returning male frogs. Several returned to the pond in past few days. They have been calling loudly in the day, they must think it is spring already!

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Suzi View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suzi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Sep 2017 at 9:04pm
September and even August I seem to get frogs tuning up in the garden. Always from cover - never seen them.
Suz
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Feb 2018 at 6:49pm
Well back out of hibernation as it were, seen a couple of newts active in the pond, but no frogs yet. Getting a little worried no adult frogs will show up this year after the taddycide spray last year. Can't imagine it does the adults much good if it so easily kills tadpoles. Hopefully still time yet, was warmest day of the year so far here by a long way and saw my first bee of the year, so will keep an eye out for frog activity over the next few days and nights.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chubsta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Feb 2018 at 11:05pm
Apart from the two frogs who headed across the garden a few weeks back I still haven't seen any in my pond despite daytime being quite warm as the sun strengthens, I guess as we still get frosts each night it is keeping them in shelter.

Do you know what dates you usually see your first frogs each year?

I too suffered an air-borne pollution last year which killed most of my tadpoles but the ones that did survive led to a bigger than usual number of froglets so hopefully yours will be the same and plenty will come back. I guess if only a couple make it they can lay enough eggs to quickly populate a pond as the food supply should still be there - as long as there are no repeats of the pollution again of course, good luck..

I have installed new cameras everywhere so believe me, if a frog moves in my garden I will see it!


Edited by chubsta - 16 Feb 2018 at 11:06pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suzi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Feb 2018 at 11:11am
I went out last night and a frog swirled off in my larger pond. The temp was 5degC and there were no newts seen. We've had quite a few minus four nights with ice on the ponds much of the day.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Feb 2018 at 11:24pm
Hi chubsta and Suzi, part of the reason I came back on here yesterday was to see if there was a record of when our frogs appeared last year. Found I posted they spawned on 4th March, so still plenty of time. We have had the same here, some warm days but still very cold at night. Think it might take a warm wet evening to get things moving!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Feb 2018 at 12:44pm
Gorgeous here today, really very spring like. No herp activity to report (yet) but noticed the blue tits inspecting the bird box. Bottom of box was coming loose so had to quickly pop it down and put in some larger screws. Was a lovely plug of mossy material from last year and signs of a successful brood, we knew they had used it but wasn't entirely sure chicks had made it. Looks like they did! Thought it might put them off doing the quick repair, but happy to report they were back inspecting it just a minute after I put it back up. Smile

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suzi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Feb 2018 at 2:48pm
A very mild day yesterday and today and frogs seen in both ponds. 
Saw a blackbird collecting nest material this morning in the garden.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chubsta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Feb 2018 at 5:09pm
Still nothing here, checked the pond and the only sign of life was a water boatman! Went for a long walk along our local canal and there wasn't a whisper from the usually raucous Marsh frogs so I guess it is still just too cold for them. 

One very ticky hedgehog late last night, will have to get her in for a clean-up, she seems to have two nests, one is tick free but the other must be swarming with them, last saw her over a week ago and she was tick-free at that point but obviously went back to sleep somewhere she shouldn't.

Other Spring sightings today were a wren, a gold crest and a giraffe and some African wild dogs, but to be fair, the latter were because we went down a bridal path that runs through the local wildlife park...

Do love Spring though, great sense of anticipation

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Feb 2018 at 6:50pm
Yep love the anticipation of spring, seems I come alive with the wildlife every year. Only takes half an hour sat by our pond in the sun for life to seem just fine again. Smile 

Just back in from my after dark frog watch, finally!! Think there is a good chance these are ones that returned to overwinter in the pond last Autumn, after such a nice day assuming the water temperature may have gone up a couple of degrees and got them active. Fingers crossed for the others to arrive soon Big smile










So a big note to myself, first frogs sighted in pond 18 February 2018!

PS one of them might not be a frog Wink


PPS Couldn't resist going out again at 9.00 pm, now 6 adult male frogs Smile Watched a male smooth newt displaying for a while too, lots of tail waving. Though we have a lot more weed in the pond now, water is crystal clear. Has taken several years for the murkiness to go.



Edited by GemmaJF - 18 Feb 2018 at 9:20pm
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