Friday, 17 March 2017

March 17th Mousehold Heath

Common Frog
I went for a quick walk around Mousehold Heath today. The Vinegar Pond was the main reason for my visit as it was full of spawning frogs. Though most of the activity amongst the frogs was now nearing an end, there were still plenty of them that were still at it in the pond. Several pairs of amphibian-like eyes peer above the surface and the mass of frogspawn that hugs vast lengths of the pond's shallow edges. This annual orgy had not gone unnoticed as it attracted the attention of pair of hungry crows. They swooped down to the shore of the pond and with so many frogs and spawn around, it was easy pickings for the crows.

Frogspawn
Frogspawn all along the pond's shore
Carrion Crow

Long-tailed Tit
The gorse and other shrubs and trees surrounding the pond was just as action packed as birds like long-tailed tits were fliting about amongst the branches. One of them even had a feather in it's bill, before disappearing into the undergrowth with it. A hint to building one of the most spectacular nests in the bird world, which is a stretchy balled masterpiece covered in lichen and moss, fixed together with spider silk and stuffed with hundreds of feathers. I also saw a jay, a few goldfinches and greenfinches. It won't be long until I help out with the bird surveys again on Mousehold. I can't wait.
Jay
Gorse
Common Carder Bumblebee (I think)
Finally, I was on the look out for green tiger beetles and digger wasps along the paths and sandy areas. Unfortunately, it was a bit cold and overcast today, meaning they were nowhere to be seen. However I did find this bumblebee (possibly a common carder I think) lying motionless on the ground. It looked dead, so I was brave enough to give it a gentle prod with a stick and thankfully it moved. I guess it was just too cold and it made it rather sluggish. So it wasn't dead, just sleepy.

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