First frogspawn seen in pond this morning. Several dollops in the usual place. Lots of splashing and croaking.


First sign of frogs in the pond today. Lots of splashing and croaking. No sign of spawn.


First dollop of the year seen this morning. Very mild. The pond has only been lightly frozen on one morning so far this year, but there’s plenty of time for cold weather. Some frog activity during the day.

More spawn next day, including one clump with white blobs on the surface of each egg – the outside, not the nucleus inside. By midday these looked normal.

Water soldier

Last year I had so much water soldier I was giving it away and putting armfuls on the compost heap. This year it had all disappeared. I saw a few remains covered in great pond snails, and again suspected their delinquent behaviour. See here and here.

I put a plant kindly donated (returned) by Annie in the pond yesterday, and today shook these snails off it. There were no snails on the plant when I put it in the pond. I’m afraid they went on the compost heap.

Next day

Not as many as yesterday, but still a substantial number. And at least ⅓ of the plant has been eaten.

Fungus with trachycarpus fortunei

Spectacular fruiting bodies in this pot. They’re not growing on the plant, I’m glad to say, but presumably on all the wood in the late lamented Cowbridge Compost.

What is the fungus? Might it cause trouble?


More frogspawn than in previous years. I culled about 40 of the biggest great pond snails. There are still plenty. I’ll try to keep moving them away from the spawn.


Vaughn came round today to pick up some pond plants and immediately spotted a male palmate newt, and shortly thereafter a female.

See Froglife article

(Needless to say, I couldn’t see any the next day, but I’ll keep my eyes open)