deKat's picture

Dates of first frogspawn

Hi everyone,

I am currently working on a project around the local pond, and as part of this we are recording dates for 'first sightings' each year.

I was wondering when the first frogspawn was sighted in your area this year?

The earliest I have heard was at our pond, on 17th March (Ballymena, Co. Antrim N.I.) - although this is still later than the usual (about 5th March).

It will be interesting to find out your sightings,


P.S. You cangive me dates for any pond life - I love it all!!



Norwichnaturalist's picture

There is the phenology network

There is the phenology network online they are very helpful

Colin Jacobs.
Wild Flower Society member

anonymous spotter's picture

First frogspawn

22nd March for my garden in Stockton-on-Tees. North-facing, sheltered pond. Further spawning over the next 3 days, total 8 clumps. (Which is 7 more than last year!) See may earlier enquiry about disappearing spawn.

deKat's picture

'Disappearing frogspawn'

I've just read it - have you removed it from the pond like you were planning to do? Or are you just going to wait and see what happens?

anonymous spotter's picture


Have removed three of 8 clumps laid this spring to a "creche" - will return after hatching. No disappearance so far, but it was close to hatching when previous losses occurred.

RNM350's picture

Spawn much later than normal,

Spawn much later than normal, 27 March this year, normally middle to end of February - its very mild here in Wirral.

I've had frogspawn break down for the last 5 years - it may look like it just dissapears.

The spawn disintegrates at the "comma" stage and the tadpoles although still within the disintegrating spawn fail to develop. Of the 7 clumps last year none survived. I've tried moving them to tanks in water from a seperate koi pool but the spawn still breaks down.

Anyone else had this ??


anonymous spotter's picture

Disappearing spawn

Having set up the creche (see earlier) - no spawn disappeared, close to hatching in the pond, hatched in the creche. So I will have a population explosion...

sa6688's picture


Hi, not sure when the spawn appeared, as I was away for a while in the second half of march, was late march when i saw some, but the fist tadpoles were wriggling around last sunday (April4) , when my grand-daughter and i went "dipping'. There apeared to be a lot of adult frogs in the pond, too, more than normal, and 6 big clumps of spawn, but we lose a lot to mallards and the heron, as the pond is out in the field.


gregtheseal's picture


the frogs came very early this year, early febuary. We have a southfacing sheltered garden in bristol. However the spawn got damaged by the heavy snows and ice.

Later spawn has hatched :)

Ellen Finney's picture

frog spawn

I found a clum of frog spawn on my rather dry lawn during the week of 8th April. There are plenty frogs around. I rescued it and put it into a pond. It has grown much larger but has not hatched yet. I keenly watch it daily for changes!

moongirl01's picture

Frog spawn late here too

I noticed the first frog spawn on 2nd April in my garden in Norfolk. This is a few weeks later than usual. Newts returned here on 22nd March (later than usual too as we've had them in February in the past).

Shadow30's picture

23 Feb 2015 Poole, Dorset

Common Frog assumed


the naturalist man's picture


A great place to find such information, and record your 'firsts' and 'lasts' is Nature's Calendar, a web site run by the Woodland Trust dedicated to the study of phenology.

Graham Banwell

Visit the iSpot Yorkshire forum for information on events, issues and news relating to 'God's own country'

moongirl01's picture

Just wanted to recommend the

Just wanted to recommend the site which Graham mentioned. My family and I have been recording our sightings there for about nine years.

deKat's picture

So what about this year?? It

So what about this year?? It was slightly earlier than last year at our pond this year - first seen on 14th march.

Roger Gilbert's picture

17th February

this year and 25th February in 2010 at Howardian Local Nature Reserve, Cardiff

Howardian Local Nature Reserve

anonymous spotter's picture

First frogspawn

23rd March 2011 in Stockton-on-Tees: the longest wait since the first (female) frog appeared in the pond that I have known - nearly a month!

moongirl01's picture

No frogspawn yet in my pond

No frogspawn yet in my pond in Norfolk! There seem to be far fewer frogs around here too.

Shadow30's picture

Early frogspawn

My earliest record is 7 Feb 2008 in my small garden pond in Poole, Dorset.


PaulMarshall's picture

early frogspawn

Last year I found frogspawn on my front lawn (in Lancashire) in late January . I am visiting relatives in Co Tyrone at the moment and have
just found frogspawn on the road .It has rained steadily for 2 days .Date is January 1st .

watermiller's picture

dates of first frogspawn saw some today 22 Jan 2012

Hi, I have seen two clumps of frog spawn today, Sunday 22 January 2012, in our pond in a north-facing orchard. It's sheltered, not in a frost-pocket, and frogs spawn there annually. have photos if you're interested... I'm in a sheltered valley in The SOuth Hams in S Devon, about two miles from the sea. It has been incredibly mild, even at night, this winter. Hope this helps - my first time on this site, I was so amazed I just had to share it!

Sarah West's picture

Welcome to iSpot

Welcome to iSpot watermiller!
Don't know if you are aware of the Natures Calendar site, but the Woodland Trust are mapping distributions of spring and autumn first sightings (known as Phenology), the web link is here

Sarah West
OPAL Community Scientist
Yorkshire and Humber

the naturalist man's picture

Frog spawn

This is exceptionally early, but then it has been a very mild winter!

We would love to see the photos, post them under 'Amphibians and Reptiles'. If you want some help in how to do this just watch the video on the front page of iSPot or refer to the Help section.

Good luck and thanks for the observation.

Graham Banwell

Visit the iSpot Yorkshire forum for information on events, issues and news relating to 'God's own country'

Refugee's picture

13 feb

Not by me but in need of agreement!!!


dejayM's picture

Wake up

Maybe this thread needs waking up for 2014?
I am still watchwaiting, the first here is Feb 22.
But I still have over-wintering 'poles

dejayM's picture


Not much of a wake-up was it?
This years's date was 18th Feb. Almost a week early again.
I have over-winterers again.

DavidHowdon's picture

Not seen any yet this year

but that's mainly because it is not something I actively look for.

You might want to add this sort of phenological observation to where they are collecting and using such information.

Amadan's picture


Sawtry village -
First frogs in pond 25 February (all, I think, male)
First spawn 7th March.

TimLundSE26's picture

Why determines when frogs mate?

Good to have found this thread - and to add a new word, 'phenology' to my vocabulary.

I'm involved with a local nature reserve which has been managed to be amphibian friendly, so I've been a bit put out that although later - if previous years are anything to go by - there will be frogs hopping everywhere, frogspawn has appeared in our very large pond much later than reported in neighbours' gardens. Surely the climate is the same?

Why should this be? The thought which occurs to me is that signals for when to spawn will, to some extent, be genetically determined, and there may be genetic differences between populations in one pond or another. This could only be true if frogs tend to go back to the pond where they hatched to breed - do they?

If they do, then is it possible that ponds will be suited to spawning at different times, and so genetic differences develop between their populations? Our pond has shallow banks, which at this time of year are flooded, but will dry out with warmer, drier, weather, so I wonder if spawn laid in the current pond edge fails, so making ours a good pond for late spawning.

I feel someone must have done some studies on this - any links?

dejayM's picture

triggers and imprints

I think they do go back to their spawn-pond Tim. But I have noticed that when crowding occurs, they do move - I have good anecdotal evidence of this in my immediate area where there were no frogs (until I introduced them to a newish pond). I know that frogs will spawn in the same spot (for up to six years) even when their home has been infilled - laying eggs on open grass in the exact original location.
I too would like to know more about what triggers the 'action' - this year they were near'y nine days later than the previous year, which itself was a 15 year record as the earliest.
I'd say, in your case, if the ponds are over 100m apart then you should consider interchanging spawn between the ponds.
I have read this not easy but thorough and interesting and a good start for you. Google Scholar has more -
I also think it might be an idea to form a normal post, so that you can add pictures and expand information year on year. Look at one of mine here Also locate all the Frog posts in iSpot by searching for Rana temporaria. There may be some good background stuff for your study.
Good luck and keep us informed please.
Derek (in Orkney - a long 'hop' from Sydenham)

TimLundSE26's picture

Thanks Derek

Thanks Derek. That was an interesting paper, although focusing on the extrinsic determinants of spawning, while I was wondering more about the endogenous - which genetic variations between frogs in a region would contribute to. Really interesting, however, to see what look like biological responses to climate change from the mid 19th century.

I'll follow up your idea of a 'normal post', although I'm fairly new to iSpotNature, and I'm not a professional biologist - or even scientist - just a retired volunteer on the committee of a the Friends groups for a local nature reserve. But I'll see what I can do to raise interest and awareness.

dejayM's picture

Post or project

OK..Ideally, what you are researching should be the subject of a Project - like Miked is an iSpot administrator and would help you set up something. I fear, though, that Projects do not get the coverage they may deserve, many of them sit quietly decaying!
You understand >>HYPERLINKING<< so are halway to an excellent Project - get cracking..
I am of the opinion that projects should be very dynamic, with regular input, updates and comments - there are far too many Projects that are dormant. NOT everyone will agree, of course, but as an offering here is one of mine >>Visit ORKNEY<< two others are in my Signature