But something caught my eye. A seething black mass at the edge.
It was thousands of tadpoles.
The more adventurous were swimming all over the pool
and I concentrated on trying to get a photograph of their tails wiggling. Suddenly there was a quiver and an explosion of sand
as a little Goby fish broke cover and swam across the pool. I wondered what these tadpoles would turn into.
This distinctive double string gave a clue
Lets take a closer look.
Some of these eggs will eventually turn into Natterjack toads. It is a protected species in the British Isles and only present in a handful of coastal sites. Their preference for shallow, warm pools has the disadvantage that these can dry out but they overcome the problem by an extended period of mating from April to July and eggs are produced throughout this season, normally 3000 to 4000 at a time. This nocturnal toad's distinctive calls will be heard in the dunes in the night.
I think a warm winter and early spring this year may mean a productive year for all our amphibians whether by the coast or
inland. As part of the National Garden Scheme when private gardens are opened to the public to raise money for charity the owners of Clearbeck opened up their 4+ acre garden for two days this weekend and we made the trip inland into north Lancashire yesterday. I ramped up my tadpole spotting for the year at the edge of their lake
I managed to throw these little fellows into a mild panic as my shadow fell across water and they scattered. I will not see what happens to these tadpoles, which I suspect are the offspring of the Common Frog, but will be be keeping an eye on my local pools. When I revisited the brackish pools this week there was even more life there, damselflies clinging on the reeds while little water boatmen skimmed the surface in the sunshine and the tadpoles had been joined by new ones, their small size distinguishing them from those who had spent longer in the pool.
As Arnie says "I'll Be Back" and hopefully see their life journey as they metamorphose into toads .
An entry to ABC Wednesday, a journey through the alphabet this week sojourning at T here