Tag Archives: frogs

Super-tides and frogspawn

Today and tomorrow will see the highest tides of the spring at Llanddwyn.  In fact, they’re probably the highest they’ll be for many springs to come (although the autumn tides this year will be higher still). The National Tidal and Sea Level Facility website has tidal predictions up until 2026 for the highest and lowest equinoctial tides. They don’t list Llanddwyn, because it’s too small, but they have data for Holyhead and they show that 2015’s tides will be the highest.

Thanks to last year’s storms that ate away at the sand cliffs so much, although the tide is super high, it is still possible to walk along Penrhos Beach at high tide.  It’s a bit slopey though – you could really do with one leg about six inches longer than the other!

The slopey side of Penrhos Beach where the sand cliffs used to be

The slopey side of Penrhos Beach where the sand cliffs used to be

Llanddwyn as a proper island at high tide

Llanddwyn as a proper island at high tide

Meanwhile, in the forest, the frogs have been spawning for about a week.  They have moved back to their old ditch/stream in the newly landscaped area on the Postman’s Trail. Every night new clumps of spawn are being added to the earlier batches: fingers crossed it is going to be a good year for the frogs.

Frogspawn - they're quite hard to spot amongst the reflections of the trees

Frogspawn – they’re quite hard to spot amongst the reflections of the trees

Frogspawn clumps - the newest are the darkest ones in the middle

Frogspawn clumps – the newest are the darkest ones in the middle

Froglets and flowers on the warren

In the forest, the first froglets started clambering out of the pools and ditches at the start of June. Those forest froglets were big, strong and quite golden in colour.

Today, out on the warren, some of the froglets in one of the pony watering holes were climbing out. These froglets are tiny and so dark they look almost black.

A tiny froglet making its way out of the pool

A tiny froglet making its way out of the pool

The water level in the pond has dropped meaning that the froglets have to clamber through sand before they can get anywhere: becoming completely coated with sand grains in the process.

...scrambling up the sand bank...

…scrambling up the sand bank…

...getting coated with sand...

…getting coated with sand…(there is a froglet here – right in the centre)

On the edge of the warren, a clump of hemlock water dropwort (the UK’s most poisonous plant) must have caught the eye of lots of people as a path has been worn to it through the scrub and rushes.

0614hemlockwaterdropwort

Closer still to the tide line, pretty little sea milkwort flowers carpet the path.

Sea milkwort (Glaux maritima)

Sea milkwort (Glaux maritima)

There are plenty of colourful orchids flowering, and plenty of twayblades too – also an orchid, but an easily overlooked one as it has fairly inconspicuous green flower spikes with two broad leaves at the bottom: hence the name twayblade.

Twayblade flowers

Twayblade flowers

Froglets galore

Each summer, usually around midsummer’s day, thousands of froglets emerge from the pools and lakes around Newborough. In a good year (for the frogs), walking becomes more like dancing as you try to make your way without stepping on a little froglet.

Froglets on the track by Llyn Parc Mawr - I missed circling one, top left.

Froglets on the track by Llyn Parc Mawr – I missed circling one, top left – they’re not easy to see.

Froglet

Froglet (I’m not even sure that is a word!)

The froglets are so small, a lot of people don’t even notice what is under their feet, you can imagine the consequences…