This last week has given us a couple of our warmest days so far this year and so I decided to visit one of my favourite downland dew ponds where returning toads always put on a good show. They are delightful creatures and Carol and I watched them for over an hour as they battled, paired and spawned.
Common Toad (Bufo bufo)
A pair in mating clasp.
Several pairs are spawning.
This male is basking at the water surface.
Two more pairs in mating clasp.
I also noticed a larva of the Emperor Dragonfly (Anax imperator) moving about amongst the toad spawn. I don't know whether it would feed on the spawn or whether it prefers its prey to be more active. It later moved out into open water and settled on the pond bed.
Common Backswimmer (Notonecta glauca) (and shadow)
The overnight temperatures this week have also been warm enough to expect a reasonable catch in the moth trap.
March Moth (Alsophila aescularia) (male)
Oak Beauty (Biston strataria)