I was having breakfast this morning , Branflakes and banana , when a small bird flew in with about 20 Chaffinches , but , whereas they went straight down to feed on the seed on the path , this one perched on the bird bath in front of the rockery . I could see it was smaller in size , and could make out that it wasn't a Goldfinch . Breakfast left , I dashed up to the back bedroom window and grabbed the camera . It was still there , watching the Chaffinches feeding on the path . I managed one shot before it flew along with all the others when a neighbour opened their window . I blew up the shot on the LCD monitor , which confirmed my suspicions , a Redpoll .
I stayed by the window , and waited for the flock to return to the seed . After a while , the Chaffinches returned but no sign of the Redpoll . After a while , I happened to look in the neighbour's Laburnum tree , where I found the afore mentioned Redpoll . Once again , everything was put up when a dog started barking . Once again , I waited , and my waiting was rewarded with not one , but two Redpolls , who nervously landed on the lawn and started feeding . They didn't stay long , but , just before they flew off , the two male Bramblings flew in . One landed in the Laburnum , right next to a female Chaffinch . This was the more colourful one , whilst the less colourful one , headed straight for one of the feeders , and proceeded to tuck in . I promise that is the last time I will mention breakfast , unless of course , something else interesting turns up . The rest of the morning was taken up with shopping and a trip to the tip , but I did get out after lunch .
I have now seen quite a lot of frogspawn in the wild , so set off for High Elms to see if I could find any toadspawn . The first three ponds that I visited , all had frogspawn but no sign of any toadspawn . I must admit , I got a bit distracted and headed for Burnt Gorse , to see if any early butterflies were showing . Surprisingly , in this sheltered spot , I only found a single Comma . What were numberous were Beeflies . Along the woodland edge , there must have been 15/20 , busily going about their business . Very identifiable from that long probosis out in front , like an in flight refuelling pipe on a fighter aeroplane . The only other thing of interest found , was the dry heads of Carline Thistle , which will last well into the new plant growth this year .
Eventually , at the fourth pond , after looking 3/4 of the way round , I found what I was looking for . In an area where the submerged vegetation almost reached the surface , both frogs and toads had spawned , knowing that the vevetation would keep the spawn near the surface , where it would get the full warmth of the sun . The frog spawn in a mass , top left , and the toadspawn showing dark in translucent strings . Up close it can bee seen as a sort of double row of eggs in the string .
Finally , I post a shot of two eggs . The one on the left is a large chicken egg . What is the other ?
No nest robbing was done to get the white egg .