How to protect frogspawn from birds

I have a garden pond in which a number of frogs produce spawn every year. However the pond is used by bathing starlings and last year a flock of up to 20 or 30 were so vigorous in daily bathing that they completely destroyed every clump of spawn. None developed into tadpoles so we had no new small frogs last year. Now I know that starlings are in decline and need help but I don't want them to repeat the destruction again this year. I do provide large bowls of water away from the pond for the birds. Obviously I don't want to use any kind of net that can entangle birds and the pond is also used by hedgehogs that visit and sometimes live in my hog boxes. Any ideas on an effective way to protect the spawn from the crazy bathers so the spawn has a chance this year? Amazingly the frogs have already started mating in the pond so it won't be long before protective action is required.

  • Hi digannio,    as long as your pond isn't too large maybe you could try temporary grid mesh cable-clipped together;  there are other options based on this idea.    I never like the idea of pond netting in case birds get tangled up in it but this more solid structure could protect the spawn until it develops.     

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • I always use this type of metal mesh each year to prevent fledgling starlings drowning, they are incredibly prone! It allows birds to perch & get drinks also big enough to let frogs out & back in!
    If I am lucky enough to find any spawn I will transfer to a seperate mesh topped container until hatched out & then returned to pond where there are only baby goldfish, can keep that covered!

     

     2013 photos & vids here

    eff37 on Flickr

  • In reply to WendyBartter:

    Thanks for the help. This looks a good solution. I'll maybe use a section of it across one end of the pond and move all the spawn underneath it for protection.
  • First frogspawn this morning ... on our 'Amphibians' thread here ...
    community.rspb.org.uk/.../1277841
    some success with sieve which I can place mesh over for added protection!

     

     2013 photos & vids here

    eff37 on Flickr