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Pond life in January


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:clap3: Went out tonight with my headlamp and saw several frogs and a female GCN. Trouble is, since I cleared the duck weed off the surface the sun has been shining and some alge is starting to appear making the water murky. Hopefully the oxygenating weed will start to grow and the water will clear of its own accord, otherwise it's the spiky hair curler on a stick. :clap3:

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bit tounge in cheek Norm, please excuse me:   Neil Bryant13 hours ago Attending Angling Trust's England Home Nations and World sea teams as a selection meeting today in Gosport. Wishing good luck

errrm how can it be conservation if your newts eat them all?

Strange you should mention this, I was asked to manage the boat team for S. Africa but I declined. The boat team is a clic and you have to be one of the boys and an EFSA member to get in if I remember

:clap3: Went out tonight with my headlamp and saw several frogs and a female GCN. Trouble is, since I cleared the duck weed off the surface the sun has been shining and some alge is starting to appear making the water murky. Hopefully the oxygenating weed will start to grow and the water will clear of its own accord, otherwise it's the spiky hair curler on a stick. :clap3:

:clap3: Female GCN spawning in the warm sun, loads of other newts spawning too. Strange no frog spawn despite there being a dozen or so frogs in the pond, none paired up though, possibly all males but odds are against that. Possibly males hibernated in pond while females hibernated on land and got predated by foxes, cats and hedgehogs etc. We shall see, fingers crossed. :clap3:

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:clap3: Just been watching a smaller female GCN spawning, could be the small one I saw last year which didn't seem interested in the male GCNs, probably wasn't mature then. Worrying that there's still no frog spawn for the newts to feed on. Will take some GCN spawn out and put it in the aquarium and sand pit/pool to grow on in safety and put back in the pond when too big to eaten by the other newts. :clap3:

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:clap3: I think spring has sprung at last. House sparrows are nest building in the tit's box on the kitchen wall, a pair of robins are investingating the ivy on the fence together and Mrs blackbird seems to be building yet another nest somewhere and to top it off, Mrs B is on her way to Gatwick for 8 days in Las Vegas for a girly week with my eldest daughter and my sister, peace and tranquility for 3 men left behind. :clap3:

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:clap3: I think spring has sprung at last. House sparrows are nest building in the tit's box on the kitchen wall, a pair of robins are investingating the ivy on the fence together and Mrs blackbird seems to be building yet another nest somewhere and to top it off, Mrs B is on her way to Gatwick for 8 days in Las Vegas for a girly week with my eldest daughter and my sister, peace and tranquility for 3 men left behind. :clap3:

:clap3: Smaller female GCN spawning in the sun today, water getting murkier, lots of newts spawning now. Only a few frogs in the pond now, have they spawned in deeper water as the air temperature is quite low? Perhaps there's no spawn at all, we didn't have the usual dawn chorus of croaking male frogs this year, shall have to wait and see. Robins have finished their nest, house sparrows still spasmodic in their nest building, the box is a tight fit for them to get in and out, strange they haven't utilised the 2 fake house martins nests I put up under the eves a couple of years ago, they'd be ideal. :clap3:

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:clap3: So much newt spawn I had to add more weed to the pond. I've put loads of spawn laden weed in the grand daughters frog paddling pool/sand pit and added loads of daphna, hoping the young female GCN has added to the gene pool this year, could be a boom year if all goes well, disasters excepted. :clap3:

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:( Talk about disasters. Sunday we saw the blackbirds picking up worms and taking them back to their nest so I said to Mrs B, "I'll get some live meal worms tomorrow to give them a hand and the robins' eggs should be hatching soon". Monday morning no sign of black birds or robins. Went to look and the eggs had gone from the robins' nest and no chicks in the black birds nest, been magpied. I normally cull the magpies but have been told that under the EU bird directive ALL birds are now protected unless they are classified as pest species. Pigeons can be shot for crop protection but not for food and magpies are not classified as pests by the RSPB so cannot be shot, this is conservation gone mad as magpies and cats are the biggest killers of birds in my area. To end a bad week, one of my grand daughters budgies died Saturday, tears all round and a burial service in the garden, she's now looking to buy a tortoise or bearded dragon, don't know how the remaining budgie will take it. :fishing:

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:clap3: Well looking on the bright side, I saw 2 hedgehogs on the lawn Thursday night, 1 was the one rescued from an inspection pit last year, near death but he recovered, other one was smaller so possibly a female, hopefully they'll get together and we'll increase our local stock. :clap3:

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As a naturalist and conservationist I don't see magpies as pests. They're predators that's all. And predators have young to feed as well.

 

Nature needs predators as otherwise we'll be overrun with blackbirds and robins. Nature sees to it that there's plenty of songbirds - that's why they breed in such numbers.

 

We may prefer songbirds to predators but who are we to judge?

 

In other words there's a balance. Almost always when the balance is upset the culprit is man - the biggest predator of all!

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Wingham Specimen Coarse & Carp Syndicates www.winghamfisheries.co.uk Beautiful, peaceful, little fished gravel pit syndicates in Kent with very big fish. 2017 Forum Fish-In Sat May 6 to Mon May 8. Articles http://www.anglersnet.co.uk/steveburke.htm Index of all my articles on Angler's Net

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