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frogesque

Frogs and Other Amphibia 2016

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Two frogs coupled up on the surface of the  pond this morning - and it's not even past Valentine's Day yet!

 

Wet and mild winter has definitely had an effect.

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2 hours ago, mushymanrob said:

ive seen nothing yet...although ive not really looked!

Well, go and have a proper look then :D

 

I need to clean the winter garbage out the pond pronto or I won't be able to move for frog spawn if they keep this up.

 

Edit:

Cleaned out the pond, water temp reading 0C (Zero) so I think it may still be a bit early yet. Usually need somewhere about 4C (inversion temp) before they really get going.

Edited by frogesque

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48 minutes ago, frogesque said:

Well, go and have a proper look then :D

 

I need to clean the winter garbage out the pond pronto or I won't be able to move for frog spawn if they keep this up.

 

Edit:

Cleaned out the pond, water temp reading 0C (Zero) so I think it may still be a bit early yet. Usually need somewhere about 4C (inversion temp) before they really get going.

i cleaned mine last week, its getting very overgrown.

all my frogs disappeared about a decade ago, maybe longer, ive tried frog spawn but that disappears and my newts eat the taddies..

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18 hours ago, mushymanrob said:

i cleaned mine last week, its getting very overgrown.

all my frogs disappeared about a decade ago, maybe longer, ive tried frog spawn but that disappears and my newts eat the taddies..

Those Newts! I was warned that they would root out my pond and , sure enough, found my first last year and consequently had no frogletts!!! I hope I get more spawn this time so some have a chance of escaping the dreaded Newts!!!!

As it is i have seen my frogs near every day since Oct/Nov so I'm wondering when they will choose to spawn this time?

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Just now, Gray-Wolf said:

Those Newts! I was warned that they would root out my pond and , sure enough, found my first last year and consequently had no frogletts!!! I hope I get more spawn this time so some have a chance of escaping the dreaded Newts!!!!

As it is i have seen my frogs near every day since Oct/Nov so I'm wondering when they will choose to spawn this time?

nooooo.... i love newts! frog spawn = newt food!

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Never had newts, or toads for that matter, in our pond. Just frogs - loads and loads and l. . .  a lot anyway.

 

Saw a pic on FB yesterday of frogspawn in Dumfriesshire so they are starting early. Our pond iced over last night so that will cool their ardour somewhat. Need some nice warm sunny days with a bit of overnight cloud to warm the water up.

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The pond has been very quiet since the early start with many days covered in ice. Last night however was wet and mild and a bit od sun during the day has helped. The pond has warmed to a balmy 2C. There have a few frogs active all day but it's starting to get chilly again.

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Fished the first dead frog out only just got going today as the temps rose.  Poor frog only had a few hours of enjoyment.

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There's been a pair of frogs in amplexus and a couple more males perhaps in my pond for a couple of weeks perhaps. No spawn yet though but it usually takes a while after they first appear and they're probably only the first of more to come. Plus the ponds iced over a few nights recently so it's obviously too cold for them at present. Plus this morning whilst it was snowing I saw one with its head poking up. The little fella must have wondered what was happening been as he would usually be hibernating during such weather. 

Edited by Walsall Wood Snow

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Went for a walk at a nature reserve near me called 'Shire Oak Park' today. Many years ago it was a quarry, but when the work ended the council turned it into a nature reserve. There are a number of pools and ponds in the area and it was the first place I saw a frog as a child, as far as I remember when we went for a nature walk at School. Anyway there's already a fair amount of frogspawn in the different ponds. The only frog I saw though was a dead one unfortunately but I did see a bit of movement beneath the spawn in one pond which I assume were frogs. Still no spawn in my pond yet and today was another day it was iced over. There are frogs in there though but they probably won't breed until the temperatures pick up, which should be soon.

 

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Ice is off the pond today but water temp (3" deep) still at zero. Air temp 5C, light rain. Frog activity, nil.

Hopefully an end to this cold spell by the weekend.

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Frogs have been busy in our pond - the 'better half' told me the spawn appeared on Friday 4th March - a week earlier than last year.

So having found this thread here's today's snaps;

 

frogspawn 071 08-03-2016.JPG

frogspawn 072 08-03-2016.JPG

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Finally a wee bit warmer and our frogs are very vocal and busy. No spawn yet but it won't be long now.

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Loads of frog spawn in our ponds, they've been very busy this year.

 

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Plenty of spawn so far this year!

We have had spawn in the pond for 3 years now and this year we are over run with young frogs so I take it this is the return of our sexually mature 'first batch'?

At least we stand a chance of avoiding last years 'Newt fest' with 'ALL' the taddies eaten before maturity ( only had two clumps of spawn last year  , this year we are up to 11!!!).

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22 hours ago, Walsall Wood Snow said:

Got my first blob of frogspawn in my pond today!

Woohoo!

Our pond has been very busy  for over a week but it's more like Haymarket than Waverley (old Scottish joke lol) with no spawn so far. I really don't know how they manage this level of activity for so long.

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6 hours ago, frogesque said:

Woohoo!

Our pond has been very busy  for over a week but it's more like Haymarket than Waverley (old Scottish joke lol) with no spawn so far. I really don't know how they manage this level of activity for so long.

Yes this happens in my pond too. There have been frogs in my pond for weeks now but so far only one female has spawned and there are others still yet to. But every year seems to be the same with frogs arriving in early March (the first one or two in late February really) but no spawn until towards the end of the month. Yet in the nature reserve not far from here spawning just seems to occur overnight or at the very most within a short number of days, with them dispersing as soon as they've arrived. I don't get it. Still it gives me a chance to see any of the mature breeding adults for an extended period because the rest of the year I'll only see the odd one now and again and only during warm spells, when they obviously come to keep cool and wet. You've got to wonder where they all go to and how far away it is.

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Though all the frogs in our garden ponds will undoubtedly be the 'Common frog' species, they are not the only frog species which is native to the British isles. Though very rare now and restricted to a small number of locations there is also the 'Pool frog' species:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pool_frog#

It's quite a striking variety with green skin with dark blotches. It hasn't always been considered a native species, but is now considered to be so.

The 'Common toad' isn't Britain's only native species of toad either. There is also the now endangered 'Natterjack toad' which is also the only toad native to Ireland (common toads aren't to be found there and if they are they will be human introductions).

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natterjack_toad

 

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Even more frogspawn now. There's got to be 4 or 5 clusters with more to come as there are other females with males on their back still yet to spawn.

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Slow steady spawning. Always seem to prefer the pond with fish in for some which clearly isn't a good place to spawn as the fish like eating taddies and small frogs.

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Been away over Easter, first blob of frog spawn appeared last Thursday just before we went and we now have a loads. Pond activity has now gone fairly quiet with just one pair of determined stragglers still coupled up.

Still no toad spawn that I can see - odd, 'cos I know there are some round about.

 

Edit: WWS, interesting re Pool Frogs. We have a mixture of colours from almost white (a female) through shades of brown/green to virtually black. Don't think any would be Pool Frogs though.

 

Edited by frogesque

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8 hours ago, frogesque said:

 

Still no toad spawn that I can see - odd, 'cos I know there are some round about.

 

It's very rare for toads to breed in garden ponds. They are far more selective about where they'll spawn than frogs and more prone to only breed in the same body of water that they in fact developed as tadpoles themselves, whereas frogs seem to be far less selective and will spawn in any pond in their range, which is why they colonize most  man made garden ponds. Toads also tend to spawn in larger and deeper bodies of water such as very large ponds and even lakes, reservoirs and even sometimes canals, frogs on the other hand prefer smaller and shallower ponds. Also unlike frog tadpoles, toad tadpoles taste very unpleasant to fish and they're more likely to avoid preying on them so toads can afford to breed in the natural large water bodies whereas in the natural world frogs will spawn in the much smaller and temporary ponds where there would be little chance of fish preying on them (this is of course determined by natural selection and for this reason garden ponds seem suitable for them even though many people keep fish in them, but in the natural world ponds of similar size are unlikely to contain fish).

I too have seen the odd toad in my garden but they've never used the pond to breed. Although when I first had a pond about 16 years ago I did take a bit of toadspawn from a big pond at a local nature reserve (which is difficult to handle due to its stringy nature) in an attempt to introduce them and I did have some toad tadpoles result from it (they're distinguishable from frog tadpoles as they are jet black whereas frog tadpoles are brown with little golden speckles), but they didn't seem to develop or if they did they never returned to breed as adults. Though about a couple of years ago there was a female toad in the pond during the breeding season but it was the only one and there were no males to breed with her and in fact a male frog was on her back anyway. She left without spawning anyway (though it would have been sterile if she did without a male of her own kind to fertilize it) and was probably just passing through.

Interesting that you mention black frogs in your pond. The common frog comes in many colours from brown (the European brown frog is another name for the species) to grey to green to yellow to orange but black individuals are apparently more common in Scotland than anywhere else. Red individuals have also been reported there more so than elsewhere. Which gives the Scottish common frog population a degree of exclusiveness.

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Just wanted to mention I was walking down a lane near Winsley yesterday and I saw a frog ; then I went around the corner and there were dozens of them all just hopping along the path and they were nowhere else along the lane just that one corner :D

Edited by ThundersnowDays

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