Pond-dipping the Movie

smooth newt
This smooth newt is a male; note the banner-like tail.

WE CAUGHT smooth newts, freshwater leeches and pond snails in one of the ponds at Hassacarr nature reserve, Dunnington Common, near York on this morning’s Wakefield Naturalists Society field meeting. This is only the second occasion on which I’ve tried out the possibilities of underwater movies using my Olympus μ Tough so using the iMovie app I’ve put together a few clips in this YouTube video.

Sketching the newt as it swam around the tank gives some impression of its movements but you can’t improve on the video clip in the way it shows the looping movement of the leech.

Tubular Water Dropwort

Seed-heads of tubular water-dropwort.
Seed-heads of tubular water-dropwort.

Tubular water-dropwortTubular Water-dropwort, Oenanthe fistulosa, grows around the edges of the largest pond. It one of the rarer species to be found on the reserve, declining as its wetland habitats disappear.

Around York, a city long famous for its flooding, wetlands is sometimes seen as prime real estate. Earlier this year one developer was frustrated that his plan to build an out of town department store was held up for several months because the resident population of great crested newts had to be relocated.

We found no great crested today at Dunnington but they are often found on pond-dipping days on the reserve.

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