Pond Dipping – 8th and 12th August

 Once again the Small Gravel Pit was used for this event. On 8th there were five people present, but none were children whilst on 12th there were eight people, including two small children. We went through the ‘OPAL’ water quality routine again and the water was judged to be of very high quality and almost neutral pH.

Water slaters, damselfly larvae and water bugs were plentiful and each dip included at least a few of all of these. The best finds on 8th were two three-spined loach and a newt tadpole. Also found were a caddis fly larva, common shrimp, ramshorn and common pond snails and some water beetles.

Step in the kids, Katie and Alex, on 12th. Alex proved to be a master fisherman and on almost every dip he caught one or two, and once even three, newt tadpoles. His final tally was at least twelve. The two between them caught about five three-spined loach and two ten-spined sticklebacks. There were also plenty of damselfly larvae, water slaters, caddis fly larvae, water beetles, leeches, shrimps, water boatmen and a water scorpion. Frog and toad were also recorded and brown hawkers and common blue damselflies were seen egg laying. At one point a black-tailed skimmer rocketed out of the poolside vegetation. We assumed that it had just emerged from the pool but could not find the exuvia when we searched for it.

All in all these were two successful events and good fun to participate in.