Sunday, 2 March 2014

Toad in the hole (or brook)

Tolerating dryer conditions, you can find toads further from water than frogs

 Following on from last week's common frogs, I'm looking at their warty cousins, the common toads. Though I have found them in my garden they've never bred in my pond and instead prefer to breed in Fairham Brook, a stone's throw away from my house and, unlike the frogs, don't seem to mind running water.

Lone male waits for a partner

Partly due to their toxic skin and areas of the river that are slow-moving the toad tadpoles can do quite well in the brook. Lone males arrive first and any movement sets them off and can be seen grabbing fish sometimes! In fact when I took this image the toad tried to grab the camera.

Females can be twice as big as males

Toads can have long lives (up to 50 years) and Spring is the only time of year they enter the water so I have a small window to get underwater images of them so have to make the most of it. 

They move mainly at night to the ponds

They have very strong homing instincts and will cross roads and barriers to get back to their pond of origin, this can mean they come into difficulties on roads and some groups set up toad patrols to collect toads and move them across the roads, something I hope to tag along to.

BBC Wildlife Local Patch Reporter
Jack Perks

Facebook: Jack Perks Photography

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