Monday, November 19, 2012
So there I was, inspecting the newly filled lake at the site of the future outflow (to be landscaped as a cascade down into the brook, passing under a drystone wall bridge before flowing off to the farm), when I was startled by a brightly coloured green and gold frog which jumped out of the long grass, and with a splash dived into the lake.
It was a Green and Golden Bell Frog - Litoria aurea. L. aurea is a species which is fairly common in the north island of New Zealand, but which is a protected species in its native Australia. Unlike many frogs they are active during the day and night, hunting for anything from insects to small mice! They also love to sun themselves.
I can remember finding these frogs and tadpoles as a child in the drains and ponds around the various farms I grew up on. We would catch the tadpoles and watch them grow in one of mother's large preserving jars with some oxygen weed. Hours of fun.
So I was pleased to find that a family of them have made a home at Willowbrook. I only hope that this year the lilies establish themselves and they have some lilly pads to sit on! I guess it also means that the water quality in the lake must be acceptable. Hopefully we will now be able to form a microcosm of aquatic life there (if the family of protected Herons don't fish too many of the tadpoles et al out again).
Here are a few pictures looking over the lake at sunset, taken in between sun showers...