Feb 212016

frog1On Saturday 20th February I found our first batch of frog spawn in the pond. There will almost certainly be more. I counted 15 frogs in the pond at the time, but a day later there were at least 30. The males arrive first at the breeding grounds and begin to call, blowing out their cheeks and making a sort of burping sound to attract females. Today, a ‘ball’ of at least 6 males were all trying to mate with a single female. She was unwise to have arrived early I think, as the males clung on and, sadly, drowned her in their rush to mate & spread their genes. This seems to be a common occurrence in early spring when there are few females around.
It would be interesting to know when frog spawn appears in other local ponds. If you have a pond with spawn, you know the date it was laid, and are planning to come to the Tuesday talk at the Masonic Hall this week, please bring the information with you and Malcolm will plot the date and place on a local map. There may be a pattern, you never know.

 Posted by on 21 February 2016 at 8:21 pm

  7 Responses to “First frog spawn of 2016!”

Comments (7)
  1. Not local to Gravesend but frog spawn appeared in next door garden pond yesterday (22nd)
    Also Siskin on our feeders this morning.

  2. New Barn, near Longfield. Altitude 300ft.

    Male with a female in a very tight grip found in the yew hedge trimmings gathered up during Tuesday morning gardening some 3 metres from the pond …
    released into the pond where the male propelled the couple to the depths. A coupled pair seen 2 hours later in the corner of the pond where spawn is usually seen . Pond is hand dug, into the chalk of the downland and is still so cold (iced over at weekend ) that duckweed hasn’t started into growth yet!

    There will be a further bulletin on Wednesday morning .


  3. Thanks for this information Anne & Pauline.
    If anyone else has data to share, please leave it as a message here and we will add it to the data we got at the meeting on Tuesday.
    Our pond now has 12 dollops of spawn and about 40 frogs splashing about – but we’re not competitive……

  4. Not quite your patch, I live in Tenterden. Returned from a weeks holiday on 23 Feb to find 11 lumps of frogspawn in our pond which is small and sheltered. Since then more has been laid but some got frosted the other morning. Also cowslips in bloom. Frogspawn was laid over a week earlier than 2015

  5. Thanks Pamela. I’ll add your data to the rest, it doesn’t matter that it’s not Gravesham. The dates may prove interesting even if the locations are a widespread.

  6. I last reported on 23 February. Except for the ice covering the surface of the pond every morning there was nothing to record until Friday 4 March when a frog was heard calling (not seen) and a coupled pair moved around the pond. On Sunday 6 March one clump of spawn was deposited, not in the pond but in a child’s play bath next to the pond. I moved spawn into this bath last year to reduce newt predation (it seemed to work ). The top of the spawn was frozen on Monday.
    The pond is not frozen this morning.
    Did the mating pair originate from the spawn last year and in true homing instinct return to the bath or was it simply a water body that was not quite so cold as the pond.
    Frogs are seen throughout the garden throughout the year. In the first year of the pond (recall we are on the top of a chalk hill) we counted 90 individuals. Where they came from we’ll never know but in thirty years the decline is dramatic.
    What can you do to help wildlife in your garden ?

  7. Frog spawn in the pond this morning. Love to see activity after the winter.