Frogs galore

 Today the pond was alive with the sound of music well frogs croaking and the spawn count has gone from one batch to four. I counted over 15 frogs either singles or mating pairs.  It goes to show how important a small urban pond is for the wild life from the bees drinking in it , birds bathing in it hoverflies laying their young , ok mosquitoes I could do without .

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Pond life(garden)

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Plenty of frogs and tadpoles still in the pond. Since a lady gave me some plants , irises , sort of grass, pond marigold and some floating weed the pond is so clear and life it seems far more natural.

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A hover fly larva

Footballer hoverfly (Helophilus pendulus)

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Footballer Hoverfly
Description
This hoverfly is sometimes called ‘The Footballer’ due to its stripy thorax. There are in fact several species with similar stripes which are difficult to tell apart. Another name is ‘The Sunfly’ due to its preference for bright sunny days. In this species the black on the hind tibia is restricted to the distal third and the mid tibia is all yellow.
Similar Species
ID Guide – Helophilus

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Habitat
Around muddy puddles, wet ditches and ponds, but also in most sunny situations along roadsides, field margins, etc.
When to see it
April to November, very common from June to August with a peak in July.
Life History
Larvae have been found in farmyard drains, very wet manure, and very wet sawdust.
UK Status
A common hoverfly and widespread throughout Britain.

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Brown Hawker dragonfly (Aeshna grandis) *female*

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This is a Brown Hawker Dragonfly resting on the birdbath to see the male click HERE

Description
This large dragonfly is easily distinguished. Both sexes are a rich brown and have a distinctive golden-brown wings, which is often the most striking character of flying individuals. The male has two small blue spots on segment 2 and blue spots along the sides of the abdomen. Both sexes have yellow thorax stripes which are very bright yellow in males but duller in females.
Habitat
Breeding in a wide range of habitats ranging from still waters to slow flowing rivers, and frequently encountered in urban areas.
When to see it
June to October.
UK Status
Mainly found in central and southern England.

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Migrant Hawker (aeshna mixta)*female*

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Length: 63mm

A small Hawker, not aggressive towards other individuals and occasionally seen in large feeding swarms. It flies late into the autumn and is likely to be the only Hawker found in November. The costa is brown and there is a “golf-tee” shaped, yellow mark on S2. The male looks quite dark with blue, paired spots along the abdomen. The pale yellow ante-humerals are indistinct and short and eyes are blue.
The female is brown with similar markings to the male but the spots are smaller and often yellow, occasionally blue. The ante-humerals are insignificant or absent and eyes are brownish.

Habitat
Breeds in standing water but may be found well away from water along hedgerows or woodland edges. Frequently resting low in vegetation…. British Dragonfly society 

To see the male please click “Here”

Southern Hawker Dragonflies (Ashna cyanea) Mating

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I saw these drop into my garden, Mating Southern hawkers.

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Description
Length: 70mm
A large, inquisitive Hawker usually seen individually. It may fly quite close to investigate observers. The spots on segments S8-10 are joined, unlike other Hawkers. The ante-humeral stripes are broad and strongly coloured The costa is dark and there is an elongated triangular mark on S2. The male is brightly marked on a dark background, usually apple green except for S8-10, which are pale blue. Occasionally, all pale blue marked individuals are seen.
The female is brown with bright green markings.
Habitat
Breeds in water line vegetation in well-vegetated, small ponds, often in garden ponds. Hunts well away from water and may be found hawking woodland rides well into the evening.
Status & Distribution
Very common in southern and central England and Wales, more local elsewhere (vagrant only to Ireland).

 

 

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They were there for about 30 minutes

Mosquito

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Mosquitoes are biting flies that are also commonly referred to as gnats.

In the UK there are 33 different species of mosquitoes , a few of which do bite humans although most other species prefer to bite animals and birds.

In most parts of the country, it is normal for people to receive the occasional mosquito bite during the summer. They are quite small insects and are typically less than 1cm in length.

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My new pond like any water whether in your rainwater butt or bucket etc attracts mosquitoes as this is where they lay there eggs.