Tadpoles this year?

The locals know the original park pond for its tadpoles. For a few years in the recent past they have been abundant in what was actually quite a small pond. Unfortunately, the tadpoles have become less abundant, and last year (2021) we think there were none that could be seen. In an effort to prevent premature drying out of the relatively small pond, it was enlarged about 18 months ago in an effort to allow water to be retained past the peak tadpole time to allow frogs to emerge and survive. After about a year where the clay stirred up by the enlargement was still in suspension, the ponds are finally starting to look more settled. Now with recent rains, the three separate ponds have joined up to make a single stretch of water.

These artificial “scrape” ponds tend to be quite shallow, and fed only by rains. We will keep an eye out for tadpoles this year, and if anyone spots them, let us know. Even better, try to get some photos. Also on this theme, the larger ponds on the other side of the railway viaduct, known as Longfield meadows, are three separate areas of water during dry period, joining to two in wetter times and just one when rain is abundant. There may be tadpoles there as well, but given that these ponds have more or less resident herons, they may well be gobbled up quite rapidly. But no doubt some will survive.

So, a general call for tadpole pictures please!

2 Replies to “Tadpoles this year?”

  1. I counted about 15 clumps of spawn in the original park pond-much less than recent years. Should be no problem for tadpoles to emerge- the problem is always whether there is still water there when they are ready to emerge as froglets?

    In recent springs at a number of local sites that has been the issue as water bodies have dried up before the tadpoles have metamorphosed. This was particularly notable at the pond by the Brent near Mayfield School, where despite the large number of tadpoles, all perished in the warm, dry spring of 2020 as the water disappeared.

    Frogs like to lay their spawn in shallow water as this warms up faster & so accelerates development. The problem is many such sites dry up before development is complete. I’ve often found spawn in flooded grass at Yeading Brook meadows where I know it has no chance of success as the inch or so of water disappears pretty quickly as spring warms up & have rescued some of this.

    Let’s hope our meagre quantity of spawn this year yields some froglets!

  2. My request for photos has produced a wonderful response. Two people (thanks Ros and Jan) have both taken photos (below). Lets hope we have lots of frogs in due course and that the herons and egrets do not eat them all!

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