At Last

Dear Readers, I spotted my first frogs in the pond several weeks ago, but since then we’ve had a cold snap, and everything has gone very quiet. Today, however, was mild, and it’s fair to say that amphibian season has well and truly kicked off. Have a look at the little film below.

Every year this feels like a little miracle to me. Frogs arrived within a week of our putting in the pond, goodness only knows where they’d been until then because I don’t know of any other neighbourhood ponds. Frogs are such mysterious animals – what do they get up to once they leave the pond? Where do they hang out? A few adults seem to linger on every year, but the concentrations that I see in the spring are soon gone, replaced by tadpoles and then tiny frogs. I know that lots hibernate at the bottom of the pond, but how about for the rest of the year? Anyhow, I know that they eat lots of slugs (at least in theory) so I’m very pleased to welcome them every year. There’s something about those hopeful faces that I find very endearing.

And if you look closely at the photo below (just to the right of the frog), you’ll see the first blob of frogspawn.

In other news, there are still plenty of squirrels. Look at this one, pretending to be a lion at a waterhole in the Serengeti…

If s/he was holding a baby in her arms I could almost hear ‘The Circle of Life’ playing in the background…

And finally, further to my wish list of birds yesterday, I just want to point out how much I appreciate my regular visitors. The starlings really are at the peak of plumage perfection at the moment, and it’s easy to forget how handsome they are. Look at the extraordinary range of colours on the back of this male bird. And to continue the Serengeti theme, does anyone else think that the knot in the trunk to the left looks like an elephant’s eye?

And how do I know that this bird is a male? Because the base of his beak is pale blue (in the females it’s pink-ish). Very handy that they are colour-coded, eh.

Male to the left (blue tinge to base of bill)

There didn’t seem to be any females about – maybe they’re already nesting and incubating? How exciting this time of year is. I can’t wait to see what happens next.


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