RAUK - Archived Forum - more Cumbrian natterjack sightings

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more Cumbrian natterjack sightings:

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Caleb
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Joined: 17 Feb 2003
No. of posts: 448


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Posted: 24 Jun 2003

Well, I had another weekend in Cumbria, and managed to get out looking for natterjacks again...

The first site I visited was the one I mentioned before- I said then that there were not many slacks with water in them... there are even fewer now. I couldn't find any sign of the slack I found spawn in previously.

The slack that had common toad tadpoles in previously has now got a few small tadpoles (presumably natterjack), no sign of any common toads or tadpoles.

I saw one small natterjack in a pile of rubbish where the dunes met the beach- I really didn't expect to find any that near to the sea.

Also single common lizard, slowworm and common frog in the dunes.

Second site was one I hadn't been to for years- there was lots of spawn in shallow scrapes like this, on the seaward side of the dunes:

Unfortunately quite a lot of it was above the water line:

Again, a couple of common lizards in the dunes, and lots of recently metamorphosed common frogs in some ponds on the landward side of the dunes.

We returned at dusk, and saw one adult natterjack sitting in the water, and one wandering about in the middle of the footpath. The pond in the picture above had almost completely disappeared (this was about 10 hours later), so another two spawn strings had been beached. I had hoped we might hear the toads calling at this time, but heard nothing.

Next day we visited a site with two large artificial slacks- the smaller one had hundreds of metamorphosing and newly metamorphosed natterjacks out in full sun:

Also lots of tadpoles of varying sizes. The larger of the two ponds had only a few small tadpoles, and also had quite a few sticklebacks!

I guess this shows how protracted the breeding season of the natterjack is- none of these sites were more than 15 miles apart, but there was spawn, tadpoles of all ages, and metamorphosed toads to be seen.

I've got grid references for all sightings, so records will be off to appropriate people as soon as possible.


william shaw
Member
Joined: 02 Sep 2003
No. of posts: 2


View other posts by william shaw
Posted: 02 Sep 2003
Very interesting to read your article.  I am currently working for the HCT as the Cumbrian Natterjack Conservation Officer.  It would be good to have a chat with you regarding your sightings - could you ring me on 01229 588153, thanks.  We have a good number of surveyos in Cumbria but it always useful to get extra details of sightings. 
777
Paul
Member
Joined: 27 May 2004
No. of posts: 13


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Posted: 27 May 2004
If you wish to see Natterjack toads - Northumberland coastline has hundreds, a wet night, spring being best time, drive along the sea road at Hauxley towards Ashington in Northumberland, literally Hundreds of them, shame you hit about 50 when your trying to aviod them in you car!
Caleb
Forum Coordinator
Joined: 17 Feb 2003
No. of posts: 448


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Posted: 01 Jun 2004
Paul-

the Hauxley toads were actually discussed here before:
http://www.herpetofauna.co.uk/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=355

It seems most likely that they are common toads, though it would be extremely interesting if they are actually natterjacks!

Mass migration in spring is a typical common toad behaviour, natterjacks spawn later, and more sporadically.
Paul
Member
Joined: 27 May 2004
No. of posts: 13


View other posts by Paul
Posted: 01 Jun 2004
I agree some of them are common but alot of them are natterjacks - ive posted on that thread you gave me..

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