Friday, 23 March 2012

A few photos from the last herp outing

Just thought I would put up a few recent photos from the last herping trip to the local ponds. It was on Monday, and appeared to be the peak season. All the regular species of frogs were present and calling, and salamanders were still going strong. I even found the first Four-toed Salamander on territory, something that normally doesn't happen around here until late April.

Green frogs were everywhere - they may start breeding soon at this pace! Normally Green Frogs are summer breeders.

Green Frog

So are Gray Treefrogs (I usually get the first ones calling sometime in late April), but a friend heard some calling a few days ago! I will be heading out to the ponds again tonight and if the weather is warm and rainy they may be calling. We did find a few Gray Treefrogs on Monday - previously the earliest ones I had seen were on April 7, 2010 on a warm rainy night.

Gray Treefrog


Gray Treefrog

More typical pose

Gray Treefrog

I haven't seen any Pickerel Frogs yet this spring. They inhabit cool, spring-fed streams, seeps, and bogs in this part of Ontario. While there is a lot of potential habitat I've rarely encountered them. Here is one from 2010 in Cambridge. Note the square blotches in two rows down its dorsum and the bright  yellow inner legs, two features that aren't seen in the more abundant Northern Leopard Frog.

Pickerel Frog - Waterloo Region

Finally, the female Four-toed Salamander from Monday.

Four-toed Salamander

Birding news: The migrants are on their way, though the "colder" temperatures and north/east winds may stall things a bit. I had a FOS Ruby-crowned Kinglet in my front tree this morning, singing up a storm, and things like Barn Swallow, American Bittern, both Yellowlegs, Virginia Rail etc have been reported.

This weekend I don't have any big birding plans. I'll do a bit of local stuff, and maybe make it out to the ponds. But its still early and I think I'll wait for the birds to come to me for a little while.

Also, Doug McCrae et. al had a Plegadis ibis in Presqui'lle today. That's a bit of a drive for me, but if it is re-found, and especially if its a White-faced Ibis, I'll probably chase it at some point.


  1. your herp photos are crazy good, as always... Do you offer courses on how to find and photograph these things??

  2. Thanks!
    Nah, I just enjoy taking the photos, it would be too much pressure if I offered a course or anything. Plus many of the species are protected so its kind of frowned upon to show lots of people these sites