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The Big Pond Thaw - Assynt Field Club

The Big Pond Thaw

January 25th 2011

This winter has been the hardest for over 30 years in Scotland.

Because of this, many ponds froze for much longer than we have been used to, with ice cover persisting for a month or more in many places. As the ice melted, people have started to find dead amphibians, mainly frogs, that had been overwintering in their ponds.


Dead frogs in a garden pond in Clachtoll
Dead frogs in a garden pond in Clachtoll

It seems as the large frogs are more susceptible. Work by the Pond Conservation has shown that most die from lack of oxygen rather than being frozen. Therefore shallow ponds with lots of pond weed and not too many dead leaves are much better than deep ponds for over wintering amphibians. AS


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Recent Sightings


nine birds, Loch na Claise (DAH) (17/11)


two male birds, Loch na Claise (DAH) (17/11)

Red-throated Diver

two winter plumage birds, Bay of Culkein (DAH) (17/11)


four birds, Bay of Culkein (DAH) (17/11)


four birds, Bay of Culkein (DAH) (17/11)


32 birds, Bay of Culkein (DAH) (17/11)

Grey Wagtail

single 1st-winter bird, Loch Kirkaig (DAH) (15/11)

Common Gull

86 birds of various ages, Loch Kirkaig (DAH) (15/11)