I woke up this morning to a birdbath full of dead tadpoles – my Mum had moved them from the pond; they hadn’t just migrated!
Over the really harsh winter we’ve just had, particularly Jan-Feb, we must have scooped almost 50 dead frogs out of the pond, from the tiny babies to fully-grown, fat frogs with big bellies!
This morning though, there were around 20 tadpoles, or differing sizes, and one of the new baby fish – one of a set of twins that were born this year…
We’re stumped as to how they all just died overnight… the only logical explanation was given by my OH, it must have been the random and drastic hailstorm a couple of days ago. I put it forward, though, that it might just be normal, almost like natural selection and tadpoles always die off at this age – a bit of a survival of the fittest kind of thing… So we’re still clueless… If anyone has an idea, please do let us know!!
This afternoon after taking the dog for a walk, I went to inspect the birdbath again, just in case the regular magpie had been to feast (I felt awful about leaving them in there but we didn’t know what else to do – My Grandma always put them in the birdbath, even when they were frogspawn, “so we’re not overrun with frogs!”)
Upon inspection I noticed that they weren’t all dead – one was still swimming around and another was moving slightly! I picked them out and moved them back to the pond where I noticed what seemed like hundreds more dead tadpoles! I called to the OH to get me a container (all those plastic Chinese takeaway boxes come in handy after all!) and set to scooping them out, filling up the birdbath with even more corpses… When I was finished, there must have been 100 at least, and I still couldn’t get to the ones in the middle or far side of the pond…
It was truly awful… Most of them had grown their back legs and a few had even grown their little front legs and were starting to look like tiny baby froglets… Up ’til now, the magpie has stayed away – don’t know whether it’s a coincidence or if they’re just not his cup of tea… Perhaps he’s not French (haha)
Anyway, thought I’d share my wildlife massacre – a problem shared is a problem halved and all that jazz!