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Daintiness

First frogspawn of the year for me - spotted this morning in Greater London/Essex.

GemmaJF

We don't see many frogs locally, but I did see my first Smooth Newt of the year yesterday. It popped up for air in the pond whilst I was inspecting my snowdrops. 

Frogs only appeared a few days ago, noticed spawn yesterday or the day before, its late for here, hope that dosent mean more bad weather!

Newts Gemma! You are very lucky, the only one ive ever had here i found in the dogs outside water bowl, i suspect it had escaped a bird on the roof, i put it in the pond, but havent seen it since
Daintiness

Which part of the country are you in Bekkie?

Ros on Wye - had first last Saturday (14th - Valentines day - aahhh!!) and this morning there was nine lots.  Earlier than last year by two weeks.  Don't know how much will survive as getting frosted most nights, but time will tell.  Had a whole load of building work done in the garden this autumn and was worried the frogs may have been harmed as we could still hear them croaking on the bank where work was done.  Needn't have worried.  Spring is definitely on the way, snowdrops in full bloom as are early crocus and hellebores.  Birds are singing, heard first blackbird yesterday.  Big smile on my face

 

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Hi daintyness
Im in the west mids, my garden is fairly sheltered, ive seen frogspawn in Jan some years, but it often gets frosted, one year the whole lot dissapeared! Im hoping they have timed it right this year

I still find it amazing how such a small pond attracts so much wild life

We have transferred the pond into a new preformed one late last year then had to empty it back into pots whilst Dh sorted out the pond and have put everything back in it but do you think this has disturbed the pond life as we do not have any frog spawn yet.

Daintiness

Hi Stagbeetle, It's early days for frogspawn - what part of the country are you in? Frogs always return to where they were spawned so they should be on their way (if you had them in the old pond). With a preformed pond ensure you have good shallow or gently sloped entry and exit points as the depth and accessibility of the water will be more important to them than the fact it is a new pond. You seem to have gone to a lot of trouble to preserve the water/mud etc from the old pond, I hope your diligence will pay off. Let us know when you see any action!

Gosh I am amazed at people seeing frogspawn already. I wasn't expecting to see any for weeks yet!

I am in Cornwall, have just checked the pond but no spawn yet.

My neigbour gave me 5 common newts 2 years ago, he was demolishing a patio where he found them under the slabs, I saw one last year but that is all. I did find a newt crisp on my own patio when it was very hot. My sister on the Isle of Wight has a pond full of newts. I do have fish in the pond so they probably eat the eggs and the baby hatchlings of any frogs and newts.

Daintiness

The heron has arrived....it has to be the same one each year...I wonder how long they live  

He or she  definitely has a good memory for a good fishing opportunity - I hate it when I see the frog's legs dangling out of its beak.

That's nature, though!  

Thanks Daintiness, I hope the hard work does pay off too, we were still taking big tadpoles out of the old pond in January, not sure why they were still tadpoles or if they will survive. Will be getting new plants for the pond and have out slates in the pond to help the frogs. Also will put things near the pond so that the frogs can hide.

our old neighbour had a huge pond and the heron use to help himself to fish, my cat did once because the neighbour was sorting the pond out and stuck the fish in a bucket for a while and my cat thought it was easy lunch 

 

Stagbeetle when there is a large amount of tadpoles in a pond, sometimes instead of outcompeting each other as froglets some will stay as tadpoles until the following spring and then will be the first biggest froglets. At my old house this used to happen every year. So I used to feed them up! We had a ridicolously huge number of frogs almost on a constant supply! Last year before we moved the pond was full of frogspawn.

Forester2

No sign of anything yet (Glos/Hereford border) - I know frogs were hibernating in the bottom of the pond (boys?) so no girls around yet.

GemmaJF

Since the days of the internet it has come to light a lot that people have overwintering tadpoles and newt larva and some have things like adult newts in ponds all year round (me included ). Not much of this appears in books yet. It's fine to have overwintering tadpoles, they just have a good headstart the following year. 

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newts are usually nocturnal if you go out at night with a torch 

you might be lucky enough to see them

Gemma, isnt the overwintering tadpole thing a survival technique they use in colder countries? Im sure i saw Chris Packham do a film thingy about it, had no idea it happened here too

Got to say i did feel sorry for the frogs in the pond yesterday, they loomed quite bemused with snow falling on them!
GemmaJF

Hi Bekkie,

It can be a survival technique in colder countries. I think at least in the southern parts of the UK there may be other factors. Pond conditions could be one, overcrowding, cool shaded ponds might slow development of some tadpoles, so they have to wait another year to finish developing.

Overcrowding tends to sort itself out over the years and there is no reason to intervene in anyway. If a pond is overly shaded, cutting back vegetation to let in more light may help.

There is evidence emerging though that it may be a deliberate tactic to give some tadpoles a head start the following year. So my feeling is in general it is a normal thing to see and nothing to worry about 

Hostafan1

hobbled down to pond, and yes, we have spawn in N Devon.

Forester2

Good news Hostafan about the spawn - why are you hobbling?