June at the pond. If you are a regular park user you will probably have seen that the wildlife pond is developing well. Several photos have already been posted; see the Main page of this website.

In addition to the plants that we paid for at the time of the restoration, we have had lots of contributions of plants from 'friends'; more contributions always welcome.
There are common newts, frogs and tadpoles as well as lots of insects, including damselflies, currently (June through July) laying their eggs on the marginal plants. You may be lucky and see a large dragon fly, the Broad-bodied chaser, so called because it looks fat. The males are blue and the females are yellow and gold.

Floating on the surface are the the tiny Ivy-leaved duckweed (Lemna) and the Water fern (Azolla ). Lemna is a native plant and so deserves a place in the pond. Azolla is not currently considered native though it did grow here in a interglacial period. However, these can both become invasive, and we are keeping them down with occasional netting.

Parrots feather is a very invasive plant, and we are removing it when ever we see it.

The pink water lilies are horticultural varieties of our native White Water Lily.

Around the edge of the pond are sedges and rushes. 'Sedges have edges and rushes are round' is a useful guide to which is which. Feel them.

The goldfish are an interesting addition. They are not native fish, and we were not planning on having them, but they are not going to be easy to remove! Please don't add any more, as they eat lots of the wildlife that we want to encourage.

These are just some of the plants and animals; tell us what you have seen,

The Bristol Regional Environmental Records Centre (BRERC) is the place to send records of what you have seen.

Go to the BRERC website and choose the 'Recording' tab for full instructions.

The grid reference for the pond is ST 592 751

Jo

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This afternoon I saw at least one newt in the pond (would it be common newt, Jo? I'm hopeless at herptiles) and LOADS of pond-skaters. Looks like Flowering Rush about to bloom?

A bonus was a Goldcrest showing well in the Tamarisk and three or four House Martins overhead with the Swifts.
Hi Des,

It was indeed the Flowering Rush about to bloom - back in July. There are now some good seed heads, so hopefully it will spread. Today I took out some Parrots Feather - we are trying to keep this out of the pond.

All the newts I have seen are common newts; there are about a dozen or more adults this year, and hopefully some newtlets too, by now. The pond skaters flew insoon after the pond was filled, and, as you say, are thriving.

thanks for the bird update - they are my weak spot.

Jo
There is a dead Hedgehog in the park near the pond. Quite possibly it had been run over and moved to the park as it is just the other side of the hedge from the road. ,
At lunchtime today there were 3 male Common Darters resting on the railway sleepers and an egg-laying female. Des

Hi, Now I know what it is, I found lots of info on the 'net':

KEY IDENTIFICATION FEATURES of the Common Darter

* mature males have orange-red unwaisted abdomen
* females dull yellow-brown
* legs with pale stripes

"Adults can be seen from mid June to the end of October. This is a common and widespread species. It does however vary considerably in abundance from year to year. Favoured breeding sites include shallow pools and small lakes. It is a rapid coloniser of newly-created ponds." Which is exactly what our pond is! let's hope they lay eggs to establish a local park population.
http://www.habitas.org.uk/dragonflyireland/5645.HTM

I found more information at http://www.dragonflysoc.org.uk/systr.html

Jo
Took photo of male Common Darter today (Sept10th). In photos on website. Also, a complete surprise, photo of a Boletus species (also in website photos).

SimonRandolph
The Azolla is rapidly blanketing the pond and I would guess that by next year it will have completely covered the surface. If we are willing to use some of the money left over from the pond project, there is a solution to this problem involving safe biological control. Apparently the North American weevil, Stenopelmus rufinasus feeds on Azolla (and only Azolla) in its natural habitat and when introduced into an infested pond, can clear it of Azolla in a season. I'm not sure this is a permanent solution but the website http://194.203.77.76/AzollaControl/default.htm gives further details, including costs which, for our pond would be just under £100. I think we ought to seriously consider this before the Azolla produces so many spores we might never be able to control it!

Simon Randolph
I've got a great book called 'Dragonflies of the Bristol Region' by errr..... someone or other!
Yes, a bit out of date now! I think the museum is planning on a much bigger and smarter book on Dragonflies in their occasional series: 'Wildlife of the Bristol Region' which I am sure you know has 3 volumes. published so far - Flora, Butterflies and (soon) Moths. But I have not been involved in this new book if or when it comes out.

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