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Froggy Exodus!

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GemmaJF View Drop Down
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Joined: 25 Jan 2003
Location: Essex
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    Posted: 10 Nov 2016 at 9:46pm
Just wanted to relate an interesting observation this summer. As it grew hot we had a number of adult frogs return to the pond, something I have seen many times. Their numbers grew to about 7 or 8 that we were seeing daily.

One evening two small grass snakes arrived. Probably a year or two old and started to actively hunt in the pond.

The frogs literally hopped out and could be found sat all around the edge of the pond. Later they started to make their way off in different directions.

A couple of things struck me about it. They must have perceived the presence of the snakes, perhaps by scent, as none came in direct contact with a snake. Also they did not return as a group, as if the single visit by the grass snakes was enough to make them move on to a safer haven. (noting that the grass snakes were fairly small and not really much threat to adult frogs).

Certainly made me think of occasions when the public have rung me to say a grass snake ate all their frogs (I've also seen this said on several gardening forums too) which of course doesn't sound likely as one or two would satisfy an adult grass snake for a week or more. So perhaps not a case that a single snake really eats all the frogs, but possibly a visiting snake is enough to make common frogs abandon a summer retreat? Since that evening we have had the odd one or two frogs at the pond but the larger aggregation certainly hopped it!

I remember JC mentioned a similar observation of seeing common frogs literally jumping out of a pond on the arrival of a grass snake. Anyone else seen it and particularly noted that the majority of the frogs did not return to the pond afterwards?

Edited by GemmaJF - 10 Nov 2016 at 10:10pm
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