One Year Pond Study Week 26: Our Summer Night Time Pond Visit

Here was our pond this week:

Um, yes I do realise you can't actually see anything.  It was, well, dark.
Um, yes I do realise you can’t actually see anything. It was, well, dark.

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:

Our peaceful pond at around 9ish at night

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:

The houses behind the pond
The houses behind the pond
T11 and L10
T11 and L10

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!)

Maybe he'd been left on the shelf, as far as finding a girl duck

Next week we will be reporting on our water study.


  1. The sudden onset of darkness at about 8:30pm our way really reminds us that summer is coming to an end… 🙁 I’m glad the children are taking in so much observations even in the dark. 🙂

  2. I love the idea of experiencing the pond at night. One think I remember from when I was little is going on a hike through the woods at night. We heard so many things. The bull frogs were so impressive. What a fun adventure.
    Blessings, Dawn

  3. I love the idea of a year round study. What a wonderful way to learn about not only the main subject, but weather, seasons, and so much more! Way to go!

    Thank you for your kind comment on my blog!
    If you check back, when I can I try to rely back to comments.

    Hope you have a great day!

    1. A year round study has been great if no other reason but all the comparisons. I would never have thought it would have been darker in the summer than the spring. I learn something every time we go down!

  4. So much fun! I love it when we see bats coming out and getting those pesky mosquitoes! It’s amazing how much we don’t know that we don’t know – like sun setting earlier in late summer than spring 🙂

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