As per much gardenwatching over the years, unexpected sightings often happen when the focus is on something else. Last Sunday, a morning check on the wildlife pond frogspawn didn’t just reveal a thin layer of ice (which was a worry). Here’s the real wildlife drama in pictures…
Watching the new wildlife environment that can be found in a garden pond has become quite fascinating. We have much to learn about it’s current inhabitants and with each one we want to know more. I can’t recommend having a garden pond highly enough, it would be just brilliant if sharing our discoveries resulted in other garden ponds being built. What a fabulous boost for wildlife that would be 🙂
Wishing you a great weekend in your garden, wildlife and pond watching too. We are still waiting on our first hedgehog sightings but the weeds are well underway and in need of attention. Garden works involving cameras are ongoing too 🙂
Below is some info on the water boatman. I have also read that where the greater boatman is carnivorous the lesser boatman is smaller and isn’t, nor does it swim on its back. My guess is that our ladybird had wandered on to a sunny, pond edge pebble or rock where a boatman/backswimmer was and that’s where it got caught. I hope it had a happy ending.
”The Common Backswimmer, also known as the ‘Water Boatman’, is widespread and common in ponds, ditches and canals across the UK. It can swim upside-down through the water, often near the surface where it grabs insects that have fallen into the water film. It is an active and voracious predator, hunting many smaller invertebrates, tadpoles and small fish. Sensing the vibrations of its prey, it charges at it with lightning speed and stabs it with its ‘beak’, injecting toxic saliva into the wound so it can suck out the contents of the body. Common Backswimmers mate between December and May, laying eggs from February onwards. The larvae go through a number of moults before reaching adulthood.”
“The Common Backswimmer is light brown with large, reddish eyes. It has powerful, oar-like hind legs, which it uses as paddles when it swims upside-down. Its body resembles the shape of a boat, hence its other common name. It may have a silvery appearance due to trapped air bubbles on its lower surface, which allow it to breathe.”
This post was published by Shirley for shirls gardenwatch in April 2019.