You will find out about all the exciting stuff going on with the RSPB in the east of the UK. We cover our sites in the following counties: Norfolk, Suffolk, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, and some of our great Lincolnshire ones. So if you are if you have never heard of the Strumpshaws and Snettishams or Stour Estuary or Sutton Fens here is you chance.
Author: Sarah Osborn
At first glance, frogspawn floating in a pond can have a slightly alien appearance. But looking closer at the black dots suspended in clear gelatinous orbs, soon to emerge as wriggling tadpoles, I can’t help but smile at how amazing nature is.
Whilst most people are familiar with the lifecycle of a frog, watching it unfold right in front of your eyes is enthralling. There is something magical about seeing the little tadpoles gradually transform, bit by bit, into adult frogs as the days pass.
And what a great way to get youngsters enthralled by wildlife! During the spring, this incredible drama is playing out in parks and gardens the length and breadth of the county in full squelchy, Technicolor glory.
You have to look carefully into the depths to see clouds of spawn; then the resulting froglets are many in number, easy to spot and incredibly cute! Baby frogs will soon be appearing perched at a pond near you, their proud posture suggesting their delight at having made the leap from black dot to fully functioning amphibian.
Female frogs lay an amazing 2000 eggs every season, but only a tiny fraction of them survive to become adult frogs. And the challenges for our amphibian friends don’t stop there. These days, adult frogs are struggling to find shelter in our neighbourhoods and countryside, and we have seen their numbers dramatically decline in the UK in recent years.
To keep this miniature wildlife spectacle alive in your neighbourhood, why not consider giving a frog a home this spring? There are lots of different ways you can help provide them with a much needed home and a meal, from creating ponds and log piles to growing patches of long grass in your gardens and parks. You don’t have to do all the hard work, as frogs are happy hopping from garden to garden in search of all that they need, as long as you make sure you’ve provided a little hole in your fences to allow them passage.
Common Frog. Credit: Eleanor Bentall (RSPB)
Whatever you do for frogs will be appreciated by a whole host of other garden wildlife, providing you with many more mini wildlife spectacles in years to come!
To find out about how you can give a frog a home on your patch, visit www.rspb.org.uk/homes.
Really nice piece. We put a small micropond in the corner of our viggie patch and almost immediately had regular visitors. We had frogspawn a couple of times but this year seems to be the first 'viable' lot as we can now see the black dots developing. Hopefully the micropond will become a bigger pond later in the year - or maybe we'll have both!