Pond dipping is a fantastic activity for long sunny summer days. The whole family can get involved in finding dozens of different underwater beasties using just a net, a magnifying glass and a bowl. But there are other places where you can explore Britain’s underwater world and discover even more fascinating creatures.
Head down to your nearest stream or brook and you can use exactly the same equipment. Pull your wellies on and wade into the water with your net. Once at suitable and safe area, place the net into the water. Then, using one of your wellies, turn over a few rocks and some silt upstream of the net. You can then watch all the sediment and wildlife flowing downstream and into the net. Place the contents of the net into a bowl and have a look at what you have.
Both pond and stream dipping is highly recommended, as the two different habitats will both contain slightly different creatures. Pond creatures are used to still water and will have larger bodies with limbs designed for swimming through the water, such as water boatmen. On the other hand, stream creatures have to constantly cope with fast flowing water. Pond species would be washed away in these conditions, but the stream creatures often have large legs, claws and fins adapted to clinging onto rocks to make sure they don’t get pushed downstream.
You can find mayfly larvae, midge lavae and every now and again something very special, such as this European Bullhead.
Screaming Foxes from Around the World
Many thanks to Gemma from Telford for sending in your tale of the mysterious Scream of the Red Fox.
“Its is 3.25 am and me and my partner have been woken by what sounds like an animal in pain coming from the woods by our house. Alarmed by this we next out to see if there was anything stuck in the fence of the school thinking it could be a fox. After looking and finding nothing and the noise stopping me have come back inside and searched fox screams and the Mogadishu we have heard is actually the red fox scream!” – Gemma from Telford.
Have you experienced anything like this? If so, we’d love to hear from you!
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Take care and remember, stay on the wild side.