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An Essex Wildlife Garden Update!

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Suzi View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suzi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Mar 2018 at 8:24pm
My frogs were very twitchy and if they sensed my movement even 15 yds away they all dived! I found if I stood still after five or more minutes they came back to the surface and carried on. I could move without disturbing them if I took very small shuffling steps. 
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Liz Heard View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Liz Heard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Mar 2018 at 8:55pm
Yes, you learned a valuable lesson there Suzi. Much like most animals (including other herps).
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GemmaJF View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Mar 2018 at 8:59pm
It goes in stages here Suz, early on even the pairs are really approachable and I can get just inches away from them. Then it gets to ultra twitchy, then when it is in full swing they don't even seem to notice if I stand right next to them!


More exciting news. Decided to try a brief look with the torch and got a really big surprise. Our female GCN has been very much lurking about in the depths and I was pretty sure she had only visited the pond to forage for food. Tonight she was up on top of the weed, hind legs pushed together. It looked very much like she was egg laying! Still not seen a male, now pondering if she could have possibly arrived with already fertilized eggs. Will be over the moon if we have GCN larvae this year. Didn't dare disturb her and put her off laying, so beat a hasty retreat. Wonders in a pond just never cease!

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will View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote will Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Mar 2018 at 6:09am
great (crested) news, Gemma - perhaps the start of a new Essex GCN population.   Thanks to Chubsta and Ben for kidney stone-related comments, too!
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Suzi View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suzi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Mar 2018 at 9:04am
GCN possible egg laying Gemma, how exciting! I don't know if I've still got one/several or not. Certainly easy to see palmates in the daytime, but I never saw a GCN in day time no matter how long I watched.
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GemmaJF View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Mar 2018 at 10:05pm
Was a pond I knew a few years back where the water was really crystal clear Suz and could see GCN in the summer during the day, rare to see any newts at this time of year in our pond during the day though. It's mostly at night and they get a bit more active in the days in the summer.

Had a go at filming the frogs today, not quite got the hang of getting the exposure right on the camera yet and keep finding YouTube makes videos darker when they are uploaded. So plenty of excuses to film more and get better at it. In the sun at lunch time, frogs were in 'we couldn't care less if you are there' mood, so was able to sit at our garden bench and film. Had to mute the sound as was mostly wind noise which was a shame, much to learn and I might as well do it filming herps!





Edited by GemmaJF - 14 Mar 2018 at 10:07pm
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GemmaJF View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Mar 2018 at 5:09pm
Now up to 12 clumps, I think, bit harder to count this year as some is in slightly deeper water and the males have been doing a good job of disrupting it. Hopefully the weekend freeze will not be too severe, forecast here doesn't look too bad  at the moment, below freezing Saturday and Sunday night but not expecting it to be enough to freeze the pond, hope not any way!

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GemmaJF View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Mar 2018 at 3:37pm
First lizard of 2018 spotted this morning on one of our onduline felts we have out in the garden.

Succumbed and thought it best not to chance leaving all the spawn out in the pond over the weekend. Found a really good way to collect it, I cut down a plastic milk bottle so it is was like a deep scoop place close to spawn and as it is submerged and the water starts to flow the spawn seems to just jump into the scoop for transferring to bucket, bowl etc. Smile
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GemmaJF View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Mar 2018 at 9:48pm
I've put together a night filming rig for my Canon 7D MKII, bits cost less than £60 on Amazon

Zeadio Triple Hot-Shoe Video Stabilizing Handle Grip

Canwelum Zoom Cree LED Torch

Canwelum 360 Degree Adjustable Bike Mount Clamp

Neewer CN-160 LED Dimmable Ultra High Power Panel Light Kit



Newts are a bit of a challenge, want to figure how to get more depth of field next time to keep them in focus more, but happy with initial results.



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Tom Omlette View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tom Omlette Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Mar 2018 at 10:08pm
looks great to me gemma. is your female gcn still on her own?

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