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Natterjack Timings Advise

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Kogia View Drop Down
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    Posted: 22 May 2012 at 7:27pm
We've now had several trips out to see natterjacks and all have ended in failure, but now the weather has warmed up, I'm presuming they'll be more active and I want to arm us with better information?
 
We don't live in a natterjack area (Hertfordshire), Sandy in Beds seems to be our closest population, however it's still an hours drive away and the site closes at 9pm. Would they possibly be out of their burrows by then, or do they mostly emerge only once it's fully dark? I know there's no guarantee, but if there is little chance of them being active until after dark, then it seems a waste of fuel to head up and hang around in the reserve until we're booted out.
 
They do a dusk walk at Sandy, but we can't make it for the next walk and then there isn't another until July.
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liamrussell View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote liamrussell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 May 2012 at 11:11pm
You are certainly unlikely to see them unless it's dark. Also you want to try on a night when it has been raining during the day.

I would try to go on an organised walk if you can, them you won't have to worry about the licencing aspect...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Caleb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2012 at 11:21am
There are times when it's possible to see them during the day- while they're spawning, pairs in amplexus are often still in the water during daylight; and when the metamorphs leave the water, they're usually active in the day. Adults do occasionally run about in the day as well, though not so often.

If you're with someone who's licenced, they'd be able to turn over debris to look for them- this is your best bet for seeing adults in daylight, at any time of year.

July isn't an unreasonable time to see them- it may be early enough for metamorphs from early spawnings, and there's a slim chance they might be still be spawning (they certainly go on till late June in Cumbria). It's well worth trying to see the young ones emerging, there can be amazing numbers of them.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dave1812 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 May 2012 at 10:05pm
The ponds that I monitor have had strings in them for about two week - later than normal.
David Hind

D&G ARG
ARC - Natterjack Toad Monitor
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kogia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 May 2012 at 3:50pm
Thanks for all the info, we didn't head back up to Sandy in the end.
We just spent a few days down in Dorset and went to a couple of sites there where they have been reintroduced, we stayed until around 11pm, but didn't hear any calling.  
 
It looks like the July organised walk may be the way to go.
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