Amphibians on the move
Last night, after a wet and mild day, amphibians were moving in quite large numbers close to the pond in my village. Usually, the newts arrive first, then the frogs and then the toads. Last night all three species were moving towards the pond, with bucket and torch in hand I moved over 50 Common frogs (Rana temporaria), 6 Common toads (Bufo bufo) and 5 Palmate newts (Lissotriton helveticus). Many hibernate in a drystone wall and have to negotiate a country lane to reach the breeding site, which sometimes results in mass casualties. There were only a few frogs killed by cars this evening, sadly one amplexus pair had to be euthanised after they were hit by a car. I’ve been visiting this pond every year for most of my life, and in all that time I have never seen a Common toad there or in any of the surrounding areas of my village. Last Summer I found a toad not far away and then last night I found 6 males. Perhaps toads from surrounding areas are establishing new sites further a field as it is quite bizarre that I’ve always regarded this species as absent from my village with breeding sites being found a couple of miles down the road.