Saturday, 26 February 2011

From the Hide (1): Mr (& Mrs) Toad and friends


We had greatly enjoyed Adam Tilt's account of his heroic Toad Rescue in Burry Port, so were aware that Mr - & Mrs - Toad might be out in the spring sunshine. Nevertheless, we were somewhat taken by surprise as we scanned the scene from the hide in Pembrey Country Park, for a warty creature was making its way down towards the water's edge before our eyes.

The view from the hide: last time we were here it was like a scene from Monet's Giverny, with waterlilies!

Turning tail: our first sighting of a rabbit in 2011.

We left the first hide - and lo and behold, there were Mr and Mrs Common Toad!

They were moving purposefully in our direction (though we used a zoom lens and tried to give them space)

It was soon time for a short rest ...

... before the obstacle course!

Talk about camouflage - but the spotty legs gave the toad away!

There were a few Mallard drakes on the water.

The toads knew that spring was in the air, but this (Yellow Brain?) fungus and the cold wind added a touch of the autumnal.

Spring won out, however, for I saw my first Daisy of 2011 ...

... complete with 'pollinator'!
Postscript: 2 March ~ I have been keeping an eye out for frogspawn - without success thus far. My first sighting of the year is 'virtual' spawn here on Lletty's (Carmarthenshire) blog ...

    9 comments:

    Mary said...

    This was really interesting. I've never watched toads much or seen them doing this. Love all the signs of spring!

    Randy Emmitt said...

    Caroline,

    Those toads look like a happy couple. Reminds me of the spring when I found over 200 mated pairs of toads in a large fishing pond.

    Barry Stewart said...

    Hi Caroline
    Your pollinator is a hoverfly of th genus Eristalis, though not sure of the species, probably tenax or pertinax? Great Toad photos - they really are busy now!!!

    Jeremy said...

    Great Toad photos, Caroline - not something I've seen, Toad mating.
    Didn't know there was a hide at Pembrey - whereabouts is it?
    T.I.A.

    Caroline Gill said...

    There are two hides, Jeremy. If you click here to the Pembrey C.P. page, then open the country park MAP (pdf) on the right, the two hides are in the conservation area. We parked near the miniature railway and walked ... The lake looks a mess at the moment, due to efforts (with digger) to eradicate the waterlilies etc. - but the Toads didn't seem perturbed. Oh, and it's still winter tariff for admission to the park, so a good time to go.

    Adam Tilt said...

    Glad you enjoyed my Toad story Caroline. I didn't realise there were hides at Pembrey either so will have to pay a visit myself sometime soon.

    kanak7 said...

    I love your toad photos! Never seen such sights before. Glad you included the ducks. They're such beautiful creatures. Unlike our landscape and surroundings, the signs of spring are so obvious and I can imagine what a treat these must be....

    Caroline Gill said...

    I'm not sure I had seen these 'sights' before either, Kanak! The toads were off to their traditional spawning lakes.

    The daisy is delightful in its simplicity; it is one of our most common wild flowers here in the UK. It grows on lawns and is often mown down or overlooked.

    Jeremy said...

    Thanks for the directions to the hides, Caroline. Hope to get there sometime (along with all the other places I need to visit!).