Signs of Spring

Despite being plunged back into cold winter temperatures after an all-too-brief glimpse of sunshine, there are definitely signs of Spring here at Denmark Farm. Catkins are swaying in the chilly breeze, and snowdrops are blooming enthusiastically in the courtyard beds.

snowdrops 2

Snowdrops at Denmark Farm Conservation Centre

The hawthorn leaves have already burst forth in shades of spring green, and the wild rose leaves will soon follow.  There is plenty of birdsong too, with recent drumming from a greater spotted woodpecker almost mistaken for drilling as final jobs are finished on our new Eco Lodge.

Frogspawn has now appeared in  most of  our ponds and scrapes. Pond Conservation are running their Big Spawn count again this year, so now is the time to get out and watch for those clumps appearing in your garden or local pond. The more people counting, the better the information for Pond Conservation.

Frogspawn at Denmark Farm Conservation Centre

(Photo by: “Welsh Dragon”)

The following mystery object was also found along one of our paths, looking  almost like clumps of mini-frogspawn. We’ll be adding it to the ispot website, but if anyone has any ideas as to what this is, please let us know:


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6 thoughts on “Signs of Spring”

  1. Christopher Rawlings

    There have been sightings of frogs spawn ‘jelly’ without eggs beside ponds in the South West so maybe here is the eggs without jelly

    1. Mara Post Author

      An interesting observation Christopher – thank you for sharing it. We’ll let you know if we find out anything else.

      1. Mara Post Author

        A number of people on ispot ( have now suggested that it looks the ova of a frog which has been predated on by something. Apparently, the ova are often rejected with the jelly that makes up the other component of frogspawn by predators.

  2. Peter Barnes

    Found the same sort of very sticky “caviar” on grass here yesterday, and put some in our tiny pond 3 metres away. Today it has swollen up into normal frogspawn, though presumably not fertilised. Whether the frog was predated, I’m not sure, as there were no remains, and this morning there is also a large quantity of spawn in another part of the pond. Perhaps it was just caught short !

  3. Peter Barnes

    Further to my earlier comment, I checked more carefully and found more patches of the eggs scattered about, and there are traces of blood on the slime, so I’ll change my mind about predation.

    1. Mara Post Author

      Hi Peter, it didn’t occur to me to try and rehydrate our ‘caviar’ – interesting that yours now looks like frogspawn. We had Rob Strachan here for an otter diet workshop at the weekend, and he suggested it could be the frog ovary which we found, possibly ripped-out intact by a heron. I’ll be very interested to know the outcome of your experiment to see if the hydrated stuff was fertile.

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