Tag Archives: spring

Fantastic Frogs

It’s that time of year again when ponds boil with amorous amphibians, all seeking to find a mate and spawn.

The pond at the Northumberland Wildlife Trust’s tiny St Nicholas Park reserve must be one of the best places in the north east to witness the spectacle of frogs mating and they have finally arrived to begin their bacchanalian ritual.

It’s been pretty cold of late but the recent mild spell saw frogs begin to converge on the pond, in expectation of the start of a new breeding cycle.

As is typical, the males have arrived first to begin their croaking courtship ritual and these can be told by their pale throats and duller grey coloration.

There are some females though too and these are browner and have the typical mottled colours we associate with our common frogs.

Only a few had produced spawn at the beginning of last week but there is still plenty of time. What an incredible wildlife spectacle to witness at close hand!

Swifts

I saw my first two Swifts of the year on Saturday evening at Holywell Pond, along with plenty of Swallows and House Martins which were hawking insects over the water.

It’s great to see the migrants returning, especially with the terrible weather recently. Here’s hoping winter is now finally over and spring is free to unfurl itself…

These were my earliest ever Swifts, mainly because I tend to look for them over residential areas rather than open water. “My” Swifts are yet to return but they can’t be more than a week or so away. Bring it on…!

Small Tortoiseshells

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No sooner had the sun brought out the first butterflies and bumblebees of the year, then it turned cold and drizzly again at the beginning of last week.

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Luckily I was able to get a few shots of my first Small Tortoiseshells, basking in the sunshine at St Nicholas Park.

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Both looked slightly tattered after a winter in hibernation but delightful to see after three months with no butterflies.

The male seemed keen to mate, beating his wings to woo the female…she however was content to sunbathe!