It’s the final month of the year with activity in our ponds significantly decreased with the cold weather. However our frogs may still be in the pond over the winter. Male common frog in particular are known for overwintering at the bottom of ponds within the silt at which time they shut down and absorb oxygen from the water. If these oxygen levels in the pond become low in freezing temperatures you may see frogs swimming around the pond searching out oxygen supplies. Native plants in the pond will photosynthesize and produce oxygen, which is very helpful for overwintering frogs, as long as the plants are receiving sunlight. Carefully clearing snow from a snowed over pond can help this sunlight reach the plants.
Adders are known for being a hardy species in the cold weather and may become active over winter if we have quite mild winter conditions. There are sightings for every month of the year for adders as they may take advantage of the chance to bask in the sunlight. This likely impact of climate change however may not be beneficial for the species. Leaving overwintering sites on milder days can cause the animal to be susceptible to sudden cold snaps in addition to their potential loss of stored energy by being active without the option of foraging for new energy sources.