Because of the recent excitement with frogs, we are focusing cameras and attention on the ponds at the moment. The picture above was taken by the trail camera waiting to see if foxes were going to eat the frogspawn. But look at this wonderful Green Woodpecker. I didn’t know its tail feathers were yellow and black like that.
The camera also took this Stock Dove drinking:
And this fox drinking but not eating the spawn.
And frogs frolicking. We came down to the ponds with torches at 10pm last night. The whole pond was churring and churning and we counted at least 50 frogs.
I also spotted a newt eating the frogspawn. This led to us counting Smooth Newts – got to 10 in this wild pond and 6 in the new pond up by the hide. These newts were very sensitive to having the torch on them and they quickly shot off, making them very difficult to photograph in the dark and these photos were the best we could do:
However, we had no such problems with the frogs. Having been extremely jittery and wary by day, they didn’t mind torch light on them at all, resulting in these really rather wonderful images below:
Taken by shining a torch on them so that I could focus the camera and then using the flash on the camera when I took the picture.
But it wasn’t all about amphibians. The Brambling was still around this morning and we wanted to get a good picture of him because we have only ever seen one Brambling before and that was in Norfolk. So we carried the mobile hide down to the feeders by the wild pond where he has been hanging out and waited for him. Before he turned up, though, we saw a Coal Tit which was actually another new species for the meadows, so that was a bonus.
And then the Brambling arrived and here are the best of the many photos we took of him:
He’s a male and his head is in the process of turning black which is his breeding plumage, although he will be returning to his breeding grounds in Scandinavia for that.
It was great to see him here.