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My first frogs of 2018...

Printed From: Reptiles and Amphibians of the UK
Category: General
Forum Name: Reporting
Forum Description: Report garden sightings and field days
URL: http://www.herpetofauna.co.uk/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=5192
Printed Date: 22 Aug 2018 at 9:05am
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Topic: My first frogs of 2018...
Posted By: chubsta
Subject: My first frogs of 2018...
Date Posted: 23 Jan 2018 at 7:31pm
Ok, so the footage is poor, but at least some frogs are starting to move about despite it being mid-January and very cold. For those with poor eyesight they enter from the left - I won't task anyone with trying to identify them...





Replies:
Posted By: Suzi
Date Posted: 24 Jan 2018 at 3:12pm
That's neat! I saw a squashed one on the road near my house the other day, but only seen the one in my ponds some days ago now. However saw eight newts the other night and seeing some most nights whilst it's so mild (12 deg last night).
Where are your frogs coming from and going to do you know? I realise pond is the obvious answer.


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Suz


Posted By: chubsta
Date Posted: 24 Jan 2018 at 7:25pm
It is a little odd because both frogs seem to be coming from the same direction, which indicates they have come under the back gate, ignoring all the rough grass, compost heaps and logs to the right of them. They are then heading diagonally across the garden, ignoring the pond that you can see on the left where the vegetation is, and heading towards a side alley. I can understand one wayward frog doing that, but two at once?


Posted By: Suzi
Date Posted: 25 Jan 2018 at 5:06pm
When we moved to this house almost thirty years ago, about this time and a little later in February, there was every year  a migration of frogs across the road in front of these houses and into our gardens. A large number were squashed on the road. I saw them on many occasions and they were certainly all heading in one direction. The question is why. We are not near a water body for spawning and at the time there was possibly one very tiny garden pond here. At the end of our back gardens there is a stream, so did they smell that? 
Were your frogs maybe heading elsewhere and ignoring your pond? Was it not their home pond?


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Suz


Posted By: Tom Omlette
Date Posted: 25 Jan 2018 at 9:36pm
great footage :)



Posted By: chubsta
Date Posted: 26 Jan 2018 at 6:00am
Originally posted by Tom Omlette Tom Omlette wrote:

great footage :)


Don't lie!

I would be surprised if it wasn't their home pond, a quick look on Google Earth doesn't show any others in the immediate vicinity and there certainly aren't any other sources of water (we are on the top of the cliffs near Dover). Still, they both looked pretty determined so I guess they know what they are doing - I would hate to try and second guess what goes on in a frogs mind.

Haven't seen any life in the pond yet, not a sign of any frogs in there at night on my cameras, which is a little surprising as it really warmed up yesterday, about 10degrees and very wet.


Posted By: Suzi
Date Posted: 27 Jan 2018 at 11:36pm
Mild wet day here in East Devon. Went out at 11pm and it was 10degC. Heard a frog splash into each pond as I approached.

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Suz


Posted By: chubsta
Date Posted: 29 Jan 2018 at 12:04am
As I had the first newts in years last year, any idea what plants I could put in the pond to encourage them?


Posted By: Suzi
Date Posted: 07 Feb 2018 at 12:19pm
In my ponds I have Broad leaved pondweed (potamogeton natans) and a narrow version of the plant as well. I planted these in pond cage/pots. I did have until last year water forget me not. This is apparently loved by GCNs for egg laying, so a bit ironic that I get the newts as I lose the weed! I also had starwort but it got smothered/killed by duckweed - which I have aplenty! I planted brooklime as a marginal but it can go mad and cover the pond so I just pull it out occasionally.
I have creeping jenny growing round the ponds and it has spread into the ponds by throwing out long stems with roots. The newts like to lay their eggs in the leaves so I don't rip it out. This is an invasive plant given to me by a well meaning (?) friend many years ago. I didn't know better at the time, but it has proved a good in-pond plant for the newts.
My ponds are both hard preforms so no gradual slope with scope for planting shallow water plants really. Overall the ponds seem to be acceptable for my newts.


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Suz


Posted By: chubsta
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2018 at 7:24am
Thanks for the tips - I will be going on a plant buying spree in the next month or so, the pond is currently looking very good as most of the plants I put in last year seem to be thriving and there are huge amounts of snails of a few different species too.


Posted By: Suzi
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2018 at 10:29am
I just have the tiny rams horn snails which I like. I didn't introduce them deliberately so they must have come in on a plant. I don't have any other types. My neighbour had the large pond snails which I didn't fancy and fortunately never came my way. I'm not sure the latter did any damage but I just thought they looked too large in a garden pond. I tried to buy the Rams horns ones but couldn't find an outlet so I was rather pleased when I got some anyway.

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Suz


Posted By: chubsta
Date Posted: 08 Feb 2018 at 11:12am
I think my snails have mainly come from the local canal - I did have quite a few the last couple of years but most will have 'disappeared' when the pond was drained last year, although I did manage to rescue a few. I raided the canal for weed last year and there was at least one big snail and quite a few rams horns when I put it in the pond.

A problem that I think I may still have is that the pond is lacking in terms of freshwater 'plankton' and that was the reason for many tadpoles not developing quickly enough last year, not sure what to do about that.


Posted By: Liz Heard
Date Posted: 16 Feb 2018 at 9:41pm
I loved the footage too - no lie!!

There are lots of pond plants you could use such as Water Forget-me-not, Water Mint, Fool's Watercress and Brooklime to name a few.
I've got lots of Watercress - which also keeps me supplied with salad.

If there's no weed, newts - especially Palmates and Smooths will lay eggs just about anywhere though (against rocks etc).
Another option is to cut thin strips of bin liner and drop them in the water. It's quite exciting to look again a few days later and find them all twisted and folded over.


Posted By: GemmaJF
Date Posted: 16 Feb 2018 at 10:35pm
Loved the footage also, seemed like a window into something we don't normally get to see. 




Posted By: Liz Heard
Date Posted: 17 Feb 2018 at 11:53am
Yes, given how widespread, frequently encountered and relatively approachable the species is and despite it's unique and spectacular means of locomotion, footage (especially night time) of Common Frogs seems in surprisingly short supply compared to many British animals such as birds, foxes, badgers etc


Posted By: Liz Heard
Date Posted: 18 Feb 2018 at 10:05am
They are starting to pair up in my ponds at the moment but I had my first 2018 frog spawn sighting on 29th Jan. About 35 clumps (no frogs) in a meadow pond right beside the south coast. Sadly, when i went back the next day to nab a few pics, it had all gone white.

Second sighting was on Friday (16th) near Blandford. While driving through a pretty rural hamlet, my eyes were yanked out by a beautiful village pond beside the lane (below). As i got closer (on foot) i could hear all the busy hubbub of whirring, murmuring and splashing. What pleasing music that is. One of my favourite sounds.

After a hasty count i 'guesstimated' around 140 adult frogs and 80 clumps of fresh-as-a-daisy spawn.
This pond looked ideal for breeding frogs. Fish-free, open to full sun and away from agriculture, perfectly clear, clean water, aquatic vegetation to dive under and hide from predators, and with large expanses of shallow water all around it's ever-so-gently sloping sides.
Walked around it slowly a number of times peering in, and scanned the surface for a bit but didn't spot any newts moving about/rising for air (i realise i cannot reliably conclude complete absence from this!)

Look to the edge of the far bank especially between the little tuft of rushes on the left and the patch of dead Iris stems to its right...




Here..






Apologies for the crap photos. My camera's bust so they were taken with my phone.


Posted By: GemmaJF
Date Posted: 18 Feb 2018 at 12:40pm
Lovely to see so many frogs and so much spawn. 



Posted By: Suzi
Date Posted: 18 Feb 2018 at 2:51pm
Amazing Ben!

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Suz


Posted By: chubsta
Date Posted: 18 Feb 2018 at 5:05pm
Lovely photos, can't believe there are so many frogs and so much spawn this early! Don't suppose you have any idea how the pond fairs as the weather warms up, looks almost temporary to me...


Posted By: Liz Heard
Date Posted: 18 Feb 2018 at 5:32pm
No, 'fraid not. Not been there before - and may never return! Had the nearby churchyard looked more 'slow worm likely', i might have tried to squeeze in a revisit if i was in the area again.
Can't be sure of course, but i didn't get the impression it was an ephemeral pool myself. Although it was very shallow around the edges, there was also a 'rubber ring' present and a sign warning 'Danger Deep Water'. You couldn't get a measure of the depth in the middle from the bank.


Posted By: Suzi
Date Posted: 19 Feb 2018 at 1:16pm
Just spotted a clump of frog spawn in my smaller pond. This is earlier than last year. I'd already decided not to ladle spawn out and raise it in trays etc. It's a method I've had mixed success with and so I'll just let nature take its course. If it turns out no tadpoles make it I will have a rethink for next year.

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Suz


Posted By: GemmaJF
Date Posted: 19 Feb 2018 at 1:41pm
Great news Suzi. Was thinking the same this year, we don't have the usual space available for the trays, so going to see how the spawn does on its own in the pond. Counted first six frogs in the pond last night, wet but fairly mild here today, so expecting more soon.



Posted By: chubsta
Date Posted: 19 Feb 2018 at 6:31pm
I swear, there is a frog in there, first of the year! (in case you are wondering, he is between the two sets of tall plants Embarrassed




Posted By: Suzi
Date Posted: 08 Mar 2018 at 7:41pm
There were fourteen frogs in the small pond today. I know some of you get more than that, but it is the most I've ever had and is hugely exciting for me (saddo!). I've done some watching and recording today as they've been very active in the sunshine. 

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Suz


Posted By: Liz Heard
Date Posted: 08 Mar 2018 at 8:36pm
I think i can see him (it's most likely male)

Originally posted by Suzi Suzi wrote:

There were fourteen frogs in the small pond today. I know some of you get more than that, but it is the most I've ever had and is hugely exciting for me (saddo!). I've done some watching and recording today as they've been very active in the sunshine. 


Well if you're a 'saddo' Suz, you're certainly not alone!
I audio recorded the croaking of the frogs i posted a pic of recently, but it was difficult to get close enough to achieve good results, especially since i couldn't stop long.


Posted By: GemmaJF
Date Posted: 08 Mar 2018 at 10:18pm
Planning on dong some filming if we get a nice day. I bought a Canon 7D a couple of years back, never really got to grips with using the video option, but filming the frogs is giving me some inspiration to give it a go (so another saddo lol) Was bursting Suz when I counted 19 loan males and 3 pairs in the pond tonight. It's not a big population being only the second year of breeding, but still very exciting for me to see so many. 


Posted By: Liz Heard
Date Posted: 10 Mar 2018 at 5:38pm
Thought i'd share a couple of pics from last nights Caligula-like froggy orgy:

Think i can see 27 (any advance on that?) in this shot:



and 21 frogs in this one..




There were a number of animals moving about the garden too. I watched as the frog in the foreground spotted the one by the brush (itself perched upright on the lookout), changed direction and went over to investigate...







Posted By: Suzi
Date Posted: 10 Mar 2018 at 7:53pm
Brilliant! You've beat me. I saw 20 today. There were 12 in one pond and eight in another. By shuffling slowly I was able to look at both ponds without causing all the frogs to dive for cover. It seemed to me though that there were hardly any pairs and I wonder if the females have gone. 
I then dragged a plastic chair out and sat by the large pond watching for newts as well. Saw several palmates in the pond plants but no sign of any GCNs.
It has been very mild here - up to 15degC this afternoon. Thankfully the rain stopped and we got some sunshine.


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Suz


Posted By: GemmaJF
Date Posted: 10 Mar 2018 at 8:07pm
Wow Ben fantastic. I noticed this last night too on the wildlife cam, several frogs including a pair jumped out and took a bit of wander round the garden was raining pretty steadily and then went back to the pond. Maybe it is like at a human party and when it all gets too noisy and busy, some frogs get out of the pond for a bit of chill time. LOL We are up to four pairs and still no spawn, getting harder to count the loan males but was 19 the other day. We did get hit pretty hard by the big chill though, so hoping there are more females still on the move and  yet to arrive.



Posted By: Tom Omlette
Date Posted: 11 Mar 2018 at 9:41pm
no spawn last year for me and nothing yet this year. lovely to see all yours :)



Posted By: will
Date Posted: 12 Mar 2018 at 6:37am
love that red female in the middle / top of the photo, Ben!  As usual, makes me wonder why the females are (often) brighter and more varied in colour than the males...



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