Thursday, March 17, 2016

First Herps of the Year

With a very warm winter and early spring, the first reptiles and amphibians have emerged somewhat earlier than usual. So far this year, I've seen or heard six species, including Spring Peeper, Red-backed Salamander and the four species pictured below.

Leopard Frogs are not quite ready to really begin their breeding season, but have still emerged in large numbers. I thought this individual had a really interesting pattern of spots on the back.

Most of the amphibians that spend the summer on land begin their breeding very early in the spring, and I encountered large numbers of Wood Frogs at vernal pools this week. They can get a little bit too excited sometimes, and a couple of times I noticed 3, 4 or more males all clinging tightly to a single female.

Wood Frog Eggs

Western Chorus Frogs were also singing away, and using my best Great Blue Heron impression I was eventually able to sneak close enough for good views. Normally they stop singing as soon as you get anywhere close.

My first and so far only reptile of the year was this Northern Map Turtle in Rondeau Bay.

Hopefully more to come as spring progresses!

1 comment:

  1. Reuven, great photos and write-ups ... really makes me miss living near Erindale Park and seeing frogs, toads, snakes, etc. during nature walks.