We built a small pond in January and have been waiting since then for the wildlife to come. Every day I performed the pond gazing ritual, bending low and staring into the water, searching for life.
I wasn't expecting newts or frogs, just a humble pond skater to come and walk on the water on its long lean legs. Well, today I got my wish. A pond skater was in our pond, or rather on our pond. I've christened it Torville because of its skating prowess. I watched it through my close focus binoculars and it was mesmerizing.
|Torville the pond skater|
Apparently, they are aggressive predators, pouncing on insects that land on the water's surface. They are very agile and can jump to evade a predator.
But how did it get in my pond? Well, it flew here. They hibernate through the winter and then re-emerge in spring.
They are also known as water striders, water skimmers and my favourite, Jesus bugs. So far there's only one and it's fairly safe as their main predators are frogs, toads, fish and newts and there aren't any of those in the pond yet.
However, birds eat them too and there are rather a lot of them in my garden. So from now on, birds are no longer allowed to drink from the pond steps (built to allow hedgehogs to escape) only from the birdbath. I think it's going to be quite time consuming being a pond skater's body guard.