Saturday, April 6, 2013

Frogging with Friends at my Coles Creek Property

About three weeks ago a few friends came over to see the Tusked Frogs before they began to hibernate for the winter. While they were here we decided to have a look for a few of the other species of frogs that they hadn't seen before. Unfortunately the colder weather had already arrived so not as many frogs were out. Luckily the main frog they were wanting to see was the Tusked Frog and they were heard in large numbers still.

We started off in the area where the Tusked Frogs are found. We heard many but didn't see too many. While I was searching for one I spotted it but it swam below the debris and my friends didn't get to see it. A short time later I lifted a log and we found  a nest of eggs just on the waters edge, but I only got to see the frog for a brief second before it jumped in the debris on land. Both my mates missed it again. We continued looking along the creek bed and finally we hit the jackpot! We found a male calling from the entrance of a burrow on the bank of the creek. This particular burrow was just on the water line. He showed very well and we all got to view it and were able to get some nice pictures.

Tusked Frog
Tusked Frog at the entrance to the burrow

The Tusked Frog in his burrow on the bank of the creek

We could only hear the odd call of the Great Barred Frogs and after we had finished in the area where the Tusked Frogs are found we couldn't hear any so we went to the Peron's Tree Frog site. We could hear a few calling out so we waded through the water to the trees to obtain some photos.
Peron's Tree Frog

Peron's Tree Frog from another angle

We heard a couple of Tyler's Tree Frogs but they were too high in the trees or in trees that were in water that was too deep to walk in. So we missed out on getting any photos of them on this night. While we were on this bank though we heard a Great Barred Frog. We only heard one frog calling which I was very surprised to hear. This is the first time I have heard them calling from a different location, from the 2 sites where they are found on the property. The ground cover and leaf litter is much the same but the creek at this location is very different. We had a quick look for him but couldn't see him from where the call came from. One of my friends had a look under some of the leaf litter in that spot and he located him in a small depression covered with a thin layer of leaves.

Great Barred Frog

After that we decided to have a look for the Wilcox's Frog. As soon as we arrived in the location we found many specimens. While we were observing them we heard a very faint and deep toned call. There was nothing else there that could have been making the call. We also found one of the Wilcox's Frogs in the area where the call came from with it's air sack partially inflated. I did obtain a recording of the sound but unfortunately it isn't very good quality but you can make it out. There was a great colour variation of the frogs that were out tonight. The first of the photos below shows a variation in colour that I hadn't seen before.

A Wilcox's Frog with a different colour variation

Wilcox's Frog

Another specimen of the Wilcox's Frog

While we were out that night we also saw a few other species of frogs. Most of which we didn't bother taking photos of due to time and the fact they are more common. These frogs included Striped Marsh Frogs, Striped Rocket Frogs, Northern Dwarf Tree Frogs, Keferstein's Tree Frogs and Green Tree Frogs. While we were walking along one of the tracks we saw an Ornate Burrowing Frog briefly. Sadly before we could get a photo it jumped into the longer grass and we were unable to locate it again.

We had a great night out frogging even though the numbers of frogs was down compared to the last few months due to the cooler weather.

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