Thursday, 28 March 2019

First frogspawn 23/3/19, no hedgehogs yet

A wildlife pond highlight, for sure, was the discovery of a clump of frog spawn in the shallow, sunlit pond edge last weekend. It was a quick snapshot on my phone to record the moment, after stepping near the edge to avoid garden works chaos created with new wiring work for the hedgehog feeding station. I couldn’t believe my eyes! That busy morning I hadn’t checked for spawn and there it was.

After regular evening torch trips to see possible mating, after one frog was spotted moving among the nicely dense pond plants last week, we missed the event that our wildlife pond was built for. Has this clump been fertilised? Will we see more spawning yet? Time will tell. For now, we are just thrilled that our pond has the right conditions for the full life cycle of the common frog. This one returned :-)



As yet, there have been no return sightings of hedgehogs for 2019. Around now, the end of March, I am expecting them to be coming out of their winter hibernation here. I suspect our first clues will be seeing hedgehog droppings on the grass or paths. Sad, but true, seeing this always makes me smile. We feel so very privileged when we see evidence that they have visited.

Seeing hedgehogs moving around the garden, live, via cameras, has always been such an enormous treat and something I never tire of or take for granted. I know only too well, how special this is. Time permitting, sharing clips and photos with updated technology is the plan for 2019. I wonder what other wildlife visitors and activity we will discover, especially around the pond. We won’t count neighbours’ cats (a problem at the moment).


Hedgehog feeding station with new camera installed, image taken last night.
Open and ready for hungry hedgehogs passing by. No cats please!


Our previous IR cameras served us well, both inside and outside this and previous feeding stations and a hedgehog house made by my daughter. These early days were such fun with so many new discoveries of the garden at night. Work is still ongoing on the full camera system for 2019 but it’s an interesting project to explore. It’s happening soon too, my birthday being the driving force for my husband. What a fantastic birthday gift and one we will all be able to share :-)

Wishing you a great weekend of garden projects and wildlife. Perhaps you have plans for 2019 too? I must make time to get out more with my daytime camera and capture the garden plants throughout the months when flowering and in bud. I've missed doing that.

Wishing you many photo opportunities in your garden and out and about too. I'm thinking if it's sunny we will see bees, early butterflies and maybe signs of birds collecting nesting material. It's all go in the garden right now, enjoy :-)



This post was published by Shirley for shirls gardenwatch in March 2019.

6 comments:

Sue Garrett said...

We used to see lots of hedgehogs in the garden but now to see one is an event.

Pauline said...

Like you, we often see hedgehog droppings in the garden, but only occasionaly the actual animals, haven't noticed any droppings so far this year. The frogspawn arrived here in Devon at the beginning of March, the same time as our first Red Admiral and Brimstone butterflies. This is a wonderful time of year, the birds are so busy defending their territory and new flowers are appearing every day.

Shirley said...

Yes, it's worrying Sue. I've not been seeing them so often during the last couple of years. Although I've not been watching the cameras at night so much. However, I have seen droppings on my neighbour's lawn so they are around. I hope my pond attracts them to drink and that helps them.

Shirley said...

Yes, have similarities on the hedgehogs Pauline. Although your season in Devon will be a lot earlier then mine when it comes to nature timings, that's one thing I've learnt through blogging. Our hedgehogs won't be long out of hibernation here. Lucky you seeing those beautiful butterflies. Wishing you a sunny weekend to see more.

Midmarsh John said...

Great to see the frogs are happy with your pond. The spawn looks good to me. In the past I have noticed any which hasn't been fertilised tends to have a white centre instead of black.

Shirley said...

Hello again John, thanks for that. Taking a closer look, I can't see any style centres either and some are changing shape now which is encouraging. Predators still be their next worry - there will be quite a few on my pond. Wow, just seen the hundreds of wriggling tadpoles in your pond - you must get a good success rate there ��