I have been on the graveyard shift. Not quite overnite, but from dark until I run out of memory in the camera. In the last few weeks I have for the first time really seen the adult toads and tree frogs. I can now even tell them apart. Toads are bigger. I have seen the tree frogs call, though I have yet to see a toad call. Toads seem to only call at the pond, tree frogs call from around the pond as well. I have also found where the frogs and toads live when not breeding. Well, one tree frog seems to live in the stop sign across the road from the drainage swale where all the breeding action takes place.
I had read that Fowler’sToads live in burrows dug into sandy areas, and the other night I found some, between the STOP sign and the granite stairs in the bank across the road from the draianage swale. I saw a toad sitting at the edge of the burrow looking out yesterday, went back and looked at the burrows today and discovered they go more than 6 inches deep ( deeper then the piece of grass I used for measuring) and tonite found 3 or 4 toads hanging out on stteop sandy bank that they have dug their burrows into. I started checking the area just before dark and found no none. But over the next 45 minutes several appeared. Tonite’s video has not yet been processed, this note accompanies footage from this afternoon and last night.
What was also intersting tonite ws that for the first time in weeks when there was water in the swale, no frogs or toads were calling. It will be interesting to see if they return to calling after it rains this weekend, or if the breeding season has ended. There have been fewer and fewer toads caling, incluidng none last night, while the tree frogs seemed down to a small number of callers last night, and were silent tonite. I would actually be relived if it was the end of the breeding season, though now that I know you can find the adults near the pond after dark, I might still be on the late shift through the summer. If that is the case I am going to need a better lighting rig than hand held flashlights.
I have been on the graveyard shift, but even more on a voyage of discovery. Learning how to see the frogs and toads, learning about their habits, habitats, and requirements. Hopefully what I learn can be brought to story telling this fall.