Wednesday, 11 April 2012
Releasing Cellar hostages
I took the children down my Mum's cellar with torches on a traditional holiday adventure and we found a number of newts and frogs. As a child I used to find loads of frogs in the cellar but we had the wherewithal to largely block up the hole into the garden to stop this happening as they crawled under the concrete cover and fell through the grating in what was a very effective amphibian pit-fall trap. Even with this resolved a small number still clamber into the hole every few months, fall through the grate and are unable to get back out. There are always hibernating mosquitoes in the cellar but these are probably pretty thin pickings and so the trapped frogs and newts have little to eat and their diminished bodies are evidence of this. We carefully caught 7 young smooth newts and two pale common frogs and released them into the pond in the garden which felt like a triumphant success after the sadness of the dead baby owl.