Here was our pond this week:
Last time we did a night-time pond visit was over the Spring on the 26th May. We went between 8 -9 pm, and whilst it is obvious it was evening time it was still very light. This week we went, again between 8-9 pm (nearer to 9pm) and it was pitch black! Can you believe it? I commented to Gary that I would have expected sun down to be later over the summer than over the spring, not the other way round. Out of interest I looked at the times the sun set on the 26th May and it was 9.01pm, I checked for the 26th August and it was 7.51pm! This has to be one of the most fascinating things about doing a year-long pond study: the comparisons between the seasons. Here was our pond the same time in May:
Kind of incomparable given we couldn’t actually see much! And yet there was still much going on at our pond at night-time on this warm August evening. It was Gary this week who took the older ones for their pond study, so I am reporting everything they relayed to me. They were unable to get many photos on account of the darkness and the fact that my card was full. However here are the few they managed:
You’d think there would be very little to report, but you would be wrong. The children burst through the front door on their return with tales of bats flying about the pond catching insects and fish flipping and flapping out of the pond regularly to do the same. Now I have to admit that since the water level has decreased we have all noticed an increase in flippy floppy fish leaping out of the water (really big ones at that!) but the children said that at night they really are busy. They also reported that there was an enormous amount of insects around the pond, which would explain both the fish and the bats. The heron was there standing amongst the reeds, probably having a little fish. One thing that was conspicuous by their absence were the ducks. Gary said they couldn’t see any and whilst the Moorhens were probably somewhere hidden in the plants, we do know that the ducks fly overhead our garden most nights, going home to roost (or something). I thought this was interesting, so I looked up on google where ducks go at night. In general, it seems they do in fact usually sleep on the water with their heads tucked under their wings and one eye open, or on the shore of a pond, if they feel safe enough, standing on one leg with the other tucked up underneath them. It maybe that our little pond isn’t big enough at night for them to feel safe so they fly to one of the many other ponds we have in the area, which are all considerably bigger. It would be interesting to know for sure. Here is a photo we took a while back of a mallard snoozing, with its head tucked in and one eye open! (I thought it was important I include at least one photo that you could make out what the subject was!)
Next week we will be reporting on our water study.