Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Rain Finally Arrives: 14 Species Sighted/Heard on my Property in One Night

This week the rain finally arrived. Over the 3 days my property had 401 mm. With all that rain the dams and creeks have filled and overflowed so the front of the property is once again under water.....a frog's heaven. I was a little concerned that few frogs had been calling for the first two nights after the rain but on the third night they appeared again in decent numbers. I have noticed a decline in numbers of many species so far. Hopefully the numbers of each species improves as the rain continues over the coming weeks.

The Roth's Tree Frogs have been sighted regularly on the veranda of the house over the last few months. They picked a good spot on the top rafter to watch the flooding unfold. I can't believe the colour variation between all three of these specimens. One is very pale cream with a couple of darker markings, one has several darker markings and one has a very mottled appearance. In fact it looks very similar to the Peron's Tree Frogs on the property.

The Roth's Tree Frogs watching the rain from the veranda

Great colour variation between all three Roth's Tree Frogs

Roth's Tree frogs have the upper half of the iris red and the lower half silver

Some of the Roth's Tree Frogs on the veranda

The Green Tree Frogs have increased in numbers over the last few years. Most nights now, between four and eight can be seen on the verandas. This specimen below is my favourite. It is the biggest of the lot at about 85mm in length.

Green Tree Frog

Front view of the big Green Tree Frog

After getting away from the veranda I made my way down to the dam. The first or should I say, one of the many initial frogs I heard was the Spotted Marsh Frogs. This is one of the first times I have seen them in this area. Usually they are confined to an area of the front paddock.

Spotted Marsh Frog calling

This is a recording of the Spotted Marsh Frog's advertising call.

I was really happy to hear Green Tree Frogs in the bush calling out as well. I could hear them in two distinct locations well away from each other. This is the first time I have heard them any real distance from man made structures here. To be honest it is only the second time ever I have seen them away from man made structures.

One of the Green Tree Frogs sighted in the bush

The Green Tree Frog pictured above was heading towards the area where several Green Tree Frogs were calling from. This is a recording of the advertising call of the Green Tree Frogs. You can also hear all the Graceful or Dainty Tree Frogs calling out as well.

Many Graceful Tree Frogs or Dainty Tree Frogs were calling out. Usually they don't call for long after the rain stops falling so I was lucky to get a recording of them as the rain had stopped several hours prior to me obtaining a photo and recording. There has been a noticeable decline in their numbers so far. This could change though over the coming weeks if the rain continues. They seemed to be limited to smaller sections of the property, where some water was still present or recently dried up. Usually they could be heard over the entire property during or just after rain, during a normal wet season. The long drought may have effected their numbers and distribution within the property.

Dainty Tree Frog
Dainty Tree Frogs are also known as Graceful Tree Frogs

Eastern Dwarf Tree Frogs were common over the whole property as well. It was noticeable though, compared to other years that the numbers of these has also seemed to have declined.

Eastern Dwarf Tree Frog

Striped Marsh Frogs were very common. Many could be seen hopping around in the grass and many hundreds could be heard in the water. They were breeding in huge numbers and spawn was very common in where they were calling. In a few places the noise was deafening.

One of the numerous Striped Marsh Frogs
This is a recording of the advertising call of hundreds of  Striped Marsh Frogs. Individually the sound is very different from this. A couple of Dainty Tree Frogs can also be heard throughout this recording.

Across one of the creeks that loops around where the island forms during flooding the Tyler's Tree Frogs and Peron's Tree Frogs could be heard. About three Tyler's Tree Frogs could be heard and about seven Peron's Tree Frogs. It is amazing that each year these two species arrive back in this small area within a few days of flooding rain. I didn't obtain any photos as the water was too deep to be wading through when it wasn't essential. It was about 1.2 metres deep but it was flowing. Within a few days it will be low enough to walk though at about 80 centimetres when it stops flowing.

I could also hear Verreaux's Tree Frogs calling out from the island. I have only seen one individual here before but it has an obvious call. I was pleased as there were two individuals calling out. It was directly across the creek from where I had sighted the specimen last year.

These Red Tree Frogs or Desert Tree Frogs were sighted near the house. This is common as usually they are all seen around the ponds, shed and house. During the drought many (approximately 30) plus a few Keferstein's Tree Frogs had moved into the water tanks. During a normal wet season they would be always seen around the house. I am pleased to say that only two were seen around man made structures so far since the rain. Most were sighted around the creeks, floodways and around the dams.

A Red Tree Frog enjoying some water in the rain gauge

This Red Tree Frog or Desert Tree Frog was on the veranda

One of the many Red Tree Frogs on the edge of the creek

This is a recording of the advertising call of the Red Tree Frog. The Eastern Dwarf Tree Frogs can also be heard calling

Striped Rocket Frogs were sighted in large numbers. I was hoping to see some of the Broad-palmed Rocket Frogs in the areas where they are usually seen but I was unable to locate any. In the places where the Broad-palmed Rocket Frogs are seen numerous Striped Rocket Frogs were spotted. Hopefully the others will show over the coming weeks. The Striped Rocket Frogs seem to push the Broad-palmed Rocket Frogs into a smaller area each season.

Striped Rocket Frog calling

Striped Rocket Frog from above.

This Common Froglet was sighted easily as I approached the dam. This was the quickest that I have found one. As I heard it calling I moved in and it continued to call. Usually as you approach they stop calling and move to a new location. Many could be heard around the dam. The Eastern Sign-bearing Froglet seemed to be much more prolific than the Common Froglet at this stage. As the seasons change the numbers of these two froglets can change significantly during a good wet season, so this may not be due to the drought. I could hear many of these calling out during the day in the front paddock as I left. Even though I could hear many more, I was unable to locate an Eastern Sign-bearing Froglet to obtain a photo tonight.

Common Froglet

A Common Froglet calling also known as a Clicking Froglet 
Some more pictures of the numerous Eastern Dwarf Tree Frogs.
An Eastern Dwarf Tree Frog on the sedge in the dam

A pair of Eastern Dwarf Tree Frogs in amplexus

An Eastern Dwarf Tree Frog calling from a lily pad

Another Eastern Dwarf Tree Frog calling from a lily pad

Another Dainty Tree Fog calling. This specimen and many others were near the other Green Tree Frogs that were calling out in the bush.

Dainty Tree Frog

This is a clearer but softer recording of the Dainty Tree Frogs performing their advertisement call. There were not as many present in this area so you can hear the call more clearly.

One of the many hundreds of Striped Marsh Frogs that were breeding in the creeks.

Striped Marsh Frog

I was really happy to see and hear one of my favourite frogs again, the Great Barred Frogs. I could hear them as soon as I walked outside. Their call carries a long way and is very distinct. They are a very predictable frog. They always appear a few days after flooding in the creeks and they are always within a 50 metre stretch of the same riverbank. I found about four tonight but could hear many others.

Great Barred Frog

As I was walking away from where the Great Barred Frogs are located I saw a huge frog jump by me. I thought it was a large Great Barred Frog by the size but it was in fact a female Wilcox's Frog. It is the largest specimen I have ever seen. It was an easy 7 centimetres in length. I didn't realise they grew so big. Within a few minutes I sighted another female nearly as big. I didn't locate any males all night.

A large female Wilcox's Frog

The same female Wilcox's Frog from above

The other large female Wilcox's Frog

In the front paddock I found many Spotted Marsh Frogs. This is the area where they are more common. When I first spotted this specimen I thought I had found the Salmon Striped Frog again on my property. I have many people doubt that I have ever sighted them here and some believe me but are sceptical. Luckily I have photographic evidence. Unfortunately this was not one. I thought it was as it was quite large compared to the normal Spotted Marsh Frogs and the orange stripes were very distinct. Also the body shape seemed more arched like the Salmon Striped Frog. Usually the Spotted Marsh Frogs sit flatter on the ground. A Salmon Striped Frog has another orange line coming out from the back groin up the belly, which this frog lacked, which is the most distinguishing feature of the Salmon Striped frog.

Large Spotted Marsh Frog

Side view of the Large Spotted Marsh Frog

More pics and updates when more frogs are photographed and recorded.


  1. Ashley, I am in Indonesia and regret missing this rain. This is lovely stuff that you've got here :)

  2. Thanks Greg. It was great to finally get some decent rain. First decent rain for my property since last June. It's amazing how things come back to life so quickly after heavy rain, even after such a prolonged dry spell. How amazing are the birds that you have seen in Indonesia? I would love to get over there one day to look at wildlife. Enjoy the rest of your trip!

  3. Thanks Ashley, I've seen your latest frog post, even more species! Your frog list for one property is very impressive. Although I don't do much frogging these days, I used to do a great deal, and I don't recall getting this many species in one spot.

  4. Some amazing captures here, I especially like the shot of the Dainty calling.