This is a picture of the frogs laying their spawn this spring. March 2008. It was lovely to see the frogs return back to the home they had been born into. It is wonderful how they all seem to know exactly the time to return and they often come back with the juveniles a week or so before the main body of frogs. I always find it so exciting that I never manage to get any work done as I am so busy watching them.
I have found that they like to wait for a while before laying the first clump of spawn, but once that is laid there is no stopping them and it becomes a real frenzy of activity with frogs clambering over others and not seeming to have any consideration of being gentle with the spawn.
There are many predators ready to strike at the frogspawn so no wonder they lay such a great amount. An average of 2000 eggs will only guarantee 5 frogs reaching maturity so the odds are really stacked against the little creatures. No matter how much spawn you see in the pond keep wishing for more and more. Never think you have enough or too much. They need as much help as possible to protect the new generation. The spawn is laid in large clumps which settles and sinks down to the pond floor where the tadpoles get bigger protected within their jelly-like substance. As they get bigger the jelly starts to dissolve around them and they in essence eat their way out.
Our fish really enjoy feasting upon the spawn but it has also been recorded that cats and magpies have been seen taking it from the pond and eating it. My cat does not take part in this activity, but I reackon the resident magpies have had a go this year. I am always wary when they come down to the pond side as they enjoyed a tasty treat of a diamond-back sturgeon a few years ago.