Jon Cranfield

Archive for May, 2011|Monthly archive page

the garden pond is almost dry!

In Uncategorized on May 28, 2011 at 9:26 am

I have made a decision to leave the pond to its own devices this summer. I have been topping up the pond in previous months.

The theory is that there will be a substrate of damp sand, moss, dead leaves and other debris left in the bottom of the pond. This substrate will hopefully enable the animals and plants survive the ‘dry phase’ of this garden pond.

It will be a waiting game for the next spell of wet weather.

More to come soon

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sightings in Scotland 25th May 2011

In Uncategorized on May 26, 2011 at 12:37 am

Here is an interesting lichen species described as a ‘coral lichen’. This is a new description from the crustose, leafy and shrubby lichens which we learned about at Uni.

It is very much like a soft coral gorgonian or even an acropora type stony coral. Very nice indeed.

The only thing was the midges man I am glad I am coming home as they were starting to bite!

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Back up to Scotland 24th to 25th May

In Uncategorized on May 25, 2011 at 8:29 am

Travelled up to Perth yesterday to meet up with a gang of reptile surveyors. Yesterday’s tally of reptiles were 5 slowworms, 4 adders and 1 lizard. So all the reptiles found in Scotland were ticked off.

The habitat was fantastic around the Scottish Highlands next to the Loch ah the name escapes me. I will get the names of the places today when we will be going out to the site again (weather permitting)

The day before I came up trains were cancelled due to high winds and it is predicted that the wind will be back today so it is down to whether we would be up for the windy challenge of finding reptiles in these conditions.

I have been giving my advice on how the adders and other reptiles should be treated during the planned works.

More to update later today with photos!

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travel to Scotland 19th May 2011

In Uncategorized on May 19, 2011 at 8:33 am

Just on the train now travelling to Edinburgh to provide reptile survey and handling training to a consultancy who are working on a reptile mitigation project. Mostly dealing with slow-worms, lizards and on some parts Adder.

Should be up there by 2.30pm. Never have been to Scotland for a herping trip before. Should be good at least I have a classroom session first then goping out top the field site either later today or tomorrow morning. Then coming back to Winchester.

Reptiles have not featured highly on Scottish environmental assessments though they are protected and in Scotland they have stronger protection (in theory) than their counterparts in England.

This particular project has been devised by Scottish Natural Heritage and what I have learned so far is that it is definitely a different approach to how reptiles are dealt with back in England.

I will report back soon on how this goes.

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further observations on the pond

In Garden pond, Observations, the garden pond blog, Wildlife on May 14, 2011 at 7:03 am

It is definitely amazing how the pond can attract so much wildlife. The pond is now considered to be on the lower end of the ‘excellent’ score calculated through the Big Pond Dip by Pond Conservation. I found darter dragonfly larvae in the warm shallows of the pond.

Other inhabitants include a large number of scavenger beetles and freshwater hydra – little anemone type creatures.

The pond also has a strong head of water fleas. The water is effectively buzzing with life.

It just goes to should how important ponds are. This pond is not even a year old and it has over a dozen animal groups or species within it.

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the frogs have arrived!

In Uncategorized on May 9, 2011 at 10:43 pm

Went outside to check the pond in the usual amphibian surveyor way (i.e with a torch after dark). And the first common frog Rana temporaria was found right in the middle of the pond.

Less than a year old and frogs have been attracted to the pond. Admittedly they have not bred in the pond this spring but this may be the case in 2012. The onslaught unleashed by the tadpoles in Jeremy Biggs garden pond was quite something.

The frog was possibly after some food such as the moth pictured taking a drink.

the first frog recorded in the garden pond

the first frog recorded in the garden pond

not sure which species?

not sure which species?

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