This apparently gruesome scene was spotted by David and Avril Haines in a roadside pond at Culkein Drumbeg (NC1033) on 14th April 2015. It appears to show Common Frog tadpoles feeding on a dead Palmate Newt, but it is not what it seems.
At this stage in their life, tadpoles are vegetarian, using seven series of horny ‘teeth’ around their beak-like mandibles to graze on green algae and other vegetable matter. Later, when their legs begin to develop, they become carnivorous.
So these tadpoles are actually just feeding on the filamentous algae which cover everything in such places, as the water warms up, including dead newts and any spawn that has failed to hatch. Later on, who knows?
D and A Haines/Ian Evans
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around 12 clumps in roadside ditch near Pollachapuill, Culkein Drumbeg (DAH). The first record for the last four years: 2018 - 13 March; 2017 - 19 Feb; 2016 - 3 March; 2015 - 19 Feb. (16/02)
single female Oldany estuary (DAH) (16/02)
seven birds Oldany estuary (DAH) (16/02)
nine birds Oldany estuary (DAH) (16/02)
single animal Loch Culag (Fiona Carter) (15/02)
single bird in full song at 7.30am, Nedd (Ian Evans) (13/02)
Great Spotted Woodpecker
single bird in Lochinver garden (Jane and Ian Young) (11/02)
three birds on River Inver opposite Little Assynt Tree Nursery (DAH) (11/02)