|The Weed Dance reaches it's climax.|
Photo by Jim Bruce
I pulled three dead ones out of my pond and no live ones. Neighbours have seen a toad and some newts so maybe it's just my pond that's in trouble. However, I reckon they got into the pond when it was mild and then froze. If you are interested in these little guys, then have a look at Froglife on the web or on Facebook. They are based just up the road in Peterborough. Click here.
The false spring would have fooled a lot of amphibians but the drought may be a bigger problem for them. There are surface puddles around after it rains, but these soon vanish because the real water table is very low right now. Many of our small pools at Paxton have been dry for months. The Gully, on the Ouse Valley Way is usually a good place for frogs, newts and grass-snakes but it's bone dry. It's normally a good spot for hairy dragonflies in summer, but I guess they too are wiped out. Toads might do better because they seem to be most prolific in the marshy edges to the Hayling Pit.
|This groundbreaking behavioural |
study was first published in 1914.
Second prize for showmanship should go to the grey herons that are nesting around the Heronry Pits. You can get good views from Post 17 on the Heron Trail and you can see some good video clips by Phil Smith below, or on You Tube.
We tend to regard April as the month for spring bird migration, but actually it's happening now. The first redshanks and oystercatchers are returning ready to breed here and avocets have been seen at Graffham Water already. It ill not be long before I hear a chiff-chaff or see a sand martin on the Reserve. I can't wait!