Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Common Toads

Once the breeding activity of the Common Frogs had subsided I was pleased to discover a part of a local pond that was full of mating Common Toads. Toads can be distinguished from frogs by their warty skin, generally larger size, horizontal pupils and their preference for walking rather than hopping. However, during the mating period the other key difference between frogs and toads is their spawn - frogspawn forms large jelly-like clumps whereas toadspawn is laid in long strings.

The area of the pond that the toads were in was fairly small and contained lots of weeds, reeds and other aquatic debris so clean backgrounds were far from easy. This part of the pond also had fairly steep sides making it difficult to get the camera and tripod down to water level. For some images I took advantage of the bright light conditions and handheld the camera at water level using live view and the fold out LCD screen on my DSLR. I still managed to get a wet backside and water filled wellies!

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I found the pair below at the side of the pond:





This mating ball contains a female in the grip of 3 males. They were floating around the pond like this throughout the duration of my stay. I believe they can stay like this for several days and the females sometimes suffocate or drown.





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