The recent warm weather, with temperatures of up to 14 degrees celsius, has brought the Park Centre pond to life. By the weekend over 100 frogs were involved in breeding activity. Most of these will have hibernated in the mud at the bottom of the pond and so could all respond at the same time. The breeding season is short and so it does not do to be late.
They prefer the shallower weedier parts of the pond where the water is slightly warmer. The Park pond has a small overflow pool just by the bridge which is always the best spot. Unfortunately this does tend to dry out in early Summer and so over the next few days all the spawn will be moved to the main body of water.
The toads usually arrive a little later and prefer the deeper parts of the pond. Sometimes confusion can arise where the first female toads can be caught by those male frogs which have arrived too late to find their own mate.
The two species cannot interbreed, however this unwanted attention can prove fatal for the unlucky toad.
The rest of the toads will soon arrive and there should be plenty to see for the next couple of weeks.
The Rangers put on regular pond dipping sessions throughout the season. For more details go to the main web-site www.hants.gov.uk/qecp
For more general information the Hampshire Amphibian and Reptile Group (HARG), which is coordinated by the Hampshire and Isle Of Wight Wildlife Trust, have a good web-site at