Mallards and Toads?

Around this time last year, we had a cracking walk with friends, one of the highlights of which was a mass of frogs in the pond-dipping area at Leighton Moss. On our way out to look at carpets on Saturday we stopped briefly at Leighton Moss to see whether a similar display might be on offer this year.

There was lots of frogspawn….

…but at first we could see no other amphibian activity. In fact, we were about to head back to the car when a movement caught my eye and I spotted at first one frog, then three of four and eventually I think about thirty. They were across the far side of the pool and so not as easy to photograph as last year.

Since then I’ve begun to wonder – are these frogs at all? Given that there was already a substantial amount of frogspawn in the water, and that the pictures I took last year clearly show mottled brown markings and a rough, ‘warty’ skin I think that these might be toads. Probably, for next year, we need to visit a little earlier to see frogs mating. (For fantastic pictures and a very informative post about toads see Cabinet of Curiosities.)

So, we didn’t get so close to the toads (or frogs) but we did have a friendly chat with some very tame mallards in the car park.

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Mallards and Toads?

2 thoughts on “Mallards and Toads?

  1. I always thought that Toadspawn was in long strings while frogspawn was in large clumps but warty skin and your photos do look like Toads. A couple of amphibious memories for you. When we were in the South of France I had to go out for some late night air after over-indulging on the Rose wine. While I was sitting in the olive grove feeling slightlly unwell, out of the ditch hopped an enormous toad no more than 18 inches from me. Really surprised to see a Toad in such a hot dry climate. Needless to say he looked better than I felt.

    Also I remember bieng quite amazed to see several frogs hopping about in Knoydart on Ben Aden at about 2,500 feet – one of them posed for a photo:
    IMG_1558

  2. beatingthebounds says:

    You’re right – it’s definitely frogspawn, but I think these are toads. Immediately before you and I attempted the Welsh threes with Alan (1989?) I spent about 10 days walking from Fort Bill to Culra Bothy (?) beyond Ben Alder and then back again climbing everything in sight as I was wont to do then. I saw no end of both frogs and toads often at considerable altitude. On the way up to Carn Mor Dearg, in particular, I remember seeing them everywhere. Then again, we shouldn’t really be surprised – your average Scottish hillside is really a standing wave – more liquid then solid.

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