Archive for January 10th, 2008

10th January 2008, Thursday

Frog sexing and other nocturnal confessions

A milder and very wet evening has triggered the first significant amphibian movement since early December in Northiam. A posse of rather flabby male common frogs were sat around the margins of our garden pond at 7pm, while a female was found on a nearby road en-route to meet them. Such mild weather in January/February is a good time to study frogs around here. Just prior to, and during spawning, the ponds are full of activity and very entertaining. Once breeding is over they return to being rather unobtrusive garden animals again.

Female (left) and male common frog (right)

The rather poor photograph above shows a pair of common frogs, with the female on the left. Read the rest of this entry »

10th January 2008, Thursday

From the edge of RXland

 

The Winter Atlas takes me to places I’d not normally bother to visit: odd little corners on paths I’ve not trodden for 20 years or more. Completely new places too. Today, Robin Harris & I explored the sheltered Wealden countryside of TQ71 P, not a mile from where he’d grown up in Mountfield.

2008-01-10 001.jpg

We followed a gurgling stream eastwards, through woodland buzzing with Blue, Great and Coal Tits, where Treecreepers and Nuthatches preceded us from Alder to rotting Alder, numerous Blackbirds chattered away from leaves soggy with orange spring water and Marsh Tits swore at us from brambles. Tiny Siskin silhouettes were flitting about the Alder cones and flocks of Redwings were wheezing up in the treetops. Read the rest of this entry »