Pond Life

Outdoor Hour Challenge from The Handbook of Nature Study Blog

August has definitely been the month of pond dipping around here and not through any effort on my part! It’s just been one of those things that we seem to have done lots of.

We went to the RSPB reserve at Fairburn Ings at the weekend, again by chance as we were nearby, and I knew that you could get pond dipping equipment for Β£1 and do it by yourself there. James enjoyed the pond dipping so much at birdfair so I guessed he’d enjoy it there too.

For some reason I thought we wouldn’t catch very much, probably as some others near us said as they were leaving that they only got lesser water boatmen and a couple of fish. The first couple of dips didn’t produce much to look at but we persevered and in the end managed quite a haul with:

about 7 fish (sticklebacks I think)
3 newts! (I have never caught a newt – we were all excited at this!!)
loads of snails – both ramshorn and greater pond snails.
water lice
a leech
greater water boatmen
lesser water boatmen
water beetles
a pond skater

I think the more we learn about these creatures the more exciting it is to go pond dipping and find them. We’ve certainly been doing it since the kids were really small(er), but this year has been great fun in a different way.

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6 Responses to Pond Life

  1. Ah! We read about the stickleback in By Pond and River. I’d really like to see one if those!

  2. I love your list. What a great activity. I love your photos.

  3. Julie says:

    Cool. Catching a Newt. πŸ™‚

  4. Hilda says:

    I don’t know what ‘pond dipping’ is? I mean, I have the general idea.. Please, tell me more! What do you use? How do you do it?

  5. Kirsty says:

    Thanks you all for the lovely comments πŸ™‚

    Amy – the sticklebacks are really tiny, only about an inch or two long. I always love when we catch fish!

    Hilda – pond dipping is basically using a net in a pond to discover what’s in it. You get some pond water in a big container, then swish a net around, bring it out and empty it in the big container to see if you’ve caught something. Then you can then transfer anything interesting into a smaller bowl with water for a closer look πŸ™‚ Maybe ‘pond dipping’ is just a UK term!

  6. Wonderful study! The area around our neighborhood pond has grown up so much that I couldn’t get safely to the edge to dip, but I still want to do this!

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