I went pond dipping to Pinner Village gardens putting on my wellies, waterproof overalls and gloves. It was a manmade little pond and when we got there we took following things out:
1.big container 2.plastic spoon 3.identification chart 4.magnifier glass 5.small bug pots 6. sweep net
I took my container and fill it half with pond water. Next I got my net and walked around the pond. In the first sweep I got a lot of water fleas, later I learnt their name as copepod Cyclops. Then I saw some great pond snail I got one out but that one was dead so, I got another one, thankfully that one was alive. I put it in the container of water, observed it through magnifier then I identified it in the chart.
Then I saw a pond skater, they were hard to catch as they were skipping and striding so fast. Finally I caught one then I dropped the net into the water container quickly, then I used a plastic spoon to take the pond skater out from the net. I matched it with the identification chart.
When I continued to go around the pond slowly, I spotted a newt. With out wasting any second I ran but it went underneath the cluster of moss in the edge.
Then I saw a tiny fish, I tried to get it but I couldn't, after a minute I felt movements a little bit away and saw some more fish. I went closely with my net and caught one! Then I took a spoon and push it out from the other side of the net then plop it inside the container, so it won't deprived of water dissolved oxygen. We did an image search on internet to identify it and found it as common minnow.
After returning them all safely to the pond we left the park.
The next pond we visited was in Wood Lane, near to the top of Stanmore Hill. As we walked through a narrow path we saw a huge pond. When we went close to the pond, I saw a bumble bee floating in the water so, I got it out using my net and placed it on the grass. First it didn't move at all but after a while it flew away, phew!
I spotted some beautiful moss and lichen growing out of a fallen branch and identified Turkey tail mushroom near the muddy bank of the pond. After that I filled the container with water then kept my focus on the pond's surface. I saw a water skater, few fish and ducks. In my sweeps I caught a water spider and few water mites, other than that I couldn't catch anything new so we packed up and head on to the next near by pond.
This smaller pond covered with algae and other pond plants and looked greener than other ponds. I filled my container first with water, then took my net for the first sweep, just hoping for frogspawn and guess what I got the jelly glop full of it! I took some in container and returned the rest back to the pond. Then I heard a swoosh and saw a heron flying away. I found a water a beetle too which I identified and put it back in water. Oh, we tested the water levels of that pond and found out they are on safe range. Before we leave we collected some pond plants and water for our frogspawn so they can stay safe while I observe they grow until I return them back to the same pond.
Also, I found out on my search some interesting facts about these two ponds. These Upper and Lower Spring Ponds are manmade and date back to Roman times and quite possibly earlier. The Larger of the two ponds Upper Spring Pond is also known locally as Caesar's Pond due to the fact that a Roman Garrison was stationed here. Local legend also says that Boudicca and her rebel army also camped here and she would have certainly have drunk water from these ponds.
(PS. all my frogspawn are hatched and growing bigger and bigger day by day!!
PPS. one of my tadpoles is growing his hind legs !!!