RAUK - Archived Forum - Natterjack Toad

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Natterjack Toad:

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akamini
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Joined: 11 Aug 2003
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Posted: 11 Aug 2003

Hello

Yesterday (10/08/03) I saw a juvenille toad among a dune system at Druridge Bay, Northumberland. It was curiously close to the strandline, moving in the first assemblages of dune vegetation from the beach. As a marine biologist, I thought it odd an amphibian should be so close to the sea. However, upon looking it up in a book, I discovered this is the sort of habitat where natterjack toads exist. Druridge Bay (included in the areas covered by Hadston Links SSSI) is a stabilised dune system with a network of brackish lagoons among the dune slack. However, on speaking to English Nature, there are no records of natterjack toads there since the 19th century. I have looked at a number of photos and read behavioural descriptions, and im fairly convinced this could have been a natterjack. However, at the time I did not pay particular attention to its markings and am unable to confirm whether it had a yellow line along its back. It did try to run from me as I approached though (as opposed to walking or jumping), and its general body shape was more flattened than common toads I have seen. Its overall colour was a greeny brown.

The time of sighting was about 19.00, and the weather was very cloudy although warm, with considerable fog along the coast. The ground was damp from earlier rain showers.

I visit this part of coast a few times a week, and will try and find another individual for a photo on my next visit. If anyone is interested I can give more specific details of locations etc.

Regards.

akamini37844.7269907407
David Bird
Forum Specialist
Joined: 17 Feb 2003
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Posted: 11 Aug 2003
I would certainly be interested in the locality to pass onto the HCT & BHS Natterjack man John Buckley who runs the Site register.
Thanks.
British Herpetological Society Librarian and member of B.H.S Conservation Committee. Self employed Herpetological Consultant and Field Worker.
Caleb
Forum Coordinator
Joined: 17 Feb 2003
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Posted: 12 Aug 2003
On one of his recent BBC programmes, Bill Oddie visited the nearby Hauxley reserve, and showed toads active in the daytime in the dunes and on the strandline.

They looked like common toads to me (though I don't remember if there was a decent shot of them) but were behaving very much like natterjacks.

I had been intending to visit the reserve since I saw that, but haven't got round to it yet!
akamini
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Joined: 11 Aug 2003
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Posted: 12 Aug 2003

That is very interesting, Hauxley is only a few miles from where this one was. I will be back there during the evenings very soon, and I will attempt to get another look and some photos. I will post back when I have more details, I just wondered initially if anyone knew of them being recorded in this area.


-LAF
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Joined: 03 Apr 2003
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Posted: 12 Aug 2003
A coastal nature reserve nr where I used to live (Mablethorpe, eugh!) had a HUGE common toad and reasonable natterjack population. Commons were ubiquitous across the dune system but the only toads I ever encountered on the salt marshes were natterjacks. The upper strand line (landward side of salt marsh)seemed the best place for natterjacks and I don't recall seeing any commons along there. It certainly doesn't sound unfaesible that you could find them in Nothumberland.

Cheers, Lee.
Lee Fairclough
akamini
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Joined: 11 Aug 2003
No. of posts: 3


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Posted: 12 Aug 2003

I don't want to speculate too much on this for the moment, it certainly looks like they have quite an overlap in range and could therefore have been either species. I initially thought it was a lizard running along, but it was clearly a toad of some species and the desciptions/photos ive seen are similar to what I saw. Im just annoyed I didnt stop to get my camera out! I will post an update if I can find another specimen.

Thanks all for the feedback, really interesting stuff.


GemmaJF
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Joined: 25 Jan 2003
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Posted: 12 Aug 2003

The description sounds like a natterjack, look for a yellow vertebral stripe if you see another, as it's nearly always present on UK specimens. I've seen common toads on beaches too so it is difficult to totally rule them out.

Other ID is the distinct parotoid glands behind the eye, viewed directly from above they diverge posteriorly on common toads but are parallel in natterjacks.

There are some pictures of both species on the ID pages of this site.


Gemma Fairchild, Independent Ecological Consultant
Chris G-O
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Joined: 14 May 2003
No. of posts: 36


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Posted: 13 Aug 2003
Hi all.

Gemma alerted me to this thread. I'll check with John Buckley (HCT Amphibian CO) when he's back from SEH in St Petersburg, but i can't find any historical record for natterjack in Northumberland. Common toads are pretty common on sand dunes & other dry coastal habitats; i've also seen them in brackish rockpools. They're a bit of a nuisance at some natterjack sites (out-competing natterjack tadpoles), and common toad spawn has to be bucketed out to other locations. I suspect what you saw was a common toad, but it's worth reporting and checking these things. A useful avenue might be to ask local residents if they've ever been aware of noisy 'frog'/'toads'.

cheers, Chris
Chris Gleed-Owen, Research & Monitoring Officer, The HCT & BHS Research Committee Chair
j gaughan
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Joined: 04 May 2003
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Posted: 07 Dec 2003
hello Chris (for John)

Along the way, i've recieved a record of Northumbrian coast 'Natterjacks' from someone, some years ago _i'll dig it out

John
AJfr0ggy
Member
Joined: 08 Aug 2003
No. of posts: 28


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Posted: 23 Dec 2003

When i was near skegness, in august i think, (*or was it june  ) I saw plently of common toads, not far from the sea (some were practially on the beach, only just after some marram grass, jusdt a few metres from the highest tide line!

I guess tis is the same populaton that lee saw Over the dues there was a canal leading to the sea. I saw many babies from this years breeding, aswell as 6 from last year. I saw them in the evening, it was still light.

Also, In pembrokeshire, i saw a palamate newt in the dunes, i think it was under some wood or a stone at a damp big, presumably where a small stream flows thought the sand

Ajfr0ggy


Paul
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Joined: 27 May 2004
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Posted: 01 Jun 2004

As i see this thread has died off, so i'd like to re-open it about Natterjacks in Northumberland beside Hauxley. There was a damp night a few days ago and I went along and saw 9 Natterjack toads with the stripes. They were near the roadside beside an bog and there is also a pond in a little valley on the sea side of the road. This is opposite a clump of forest and usually gets flooded in storms. There was also ALOT of common toads... The thing that surprise's me is there is never any toadspawn that I can find during the laying season, there is SOME frogspawn but theres another strange thing, theres never any frogs....

 

Paul C, Amble, Northumberland


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


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Posted: 02 Jun 2004
Paul-

any chance of a photo of these toads? It would be very interesting if they really are natterjacks, the nearest known colonies are over in Cumbria.
calumma
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Joined: 27 Jun 2003
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Posted: 02 Jun 2004
I once went on a hunt for natterjacks in Northumberland. The site I visited was supposed to be a confirmed location. However, it had deteriorated significantly by the time I got to it and no natterjacks were found.

Photos would certainly be interesting!

Lee
Lee Brady
Kent Herpetofauna Recorder | Independent Ecological Consultant

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j gaughan
Senior Member
Joined: 04 May 2003
No. of posts: 57


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Posted: 02 Jun 2004
I've just remembered the source of my old record, being a 1st-hand report from an elderly bricklayer i met while working on a building site in Bermondsey, over 20 yrs. ago.

He was an ex-poacher, field naturalist-type and was adamant about the coastal natterjacks he had found in his home county, Northumberland.

I can't recall exactly, but he may of been referring to 20 or 30 yrs. earlier. I have the year & location recorded in a notebook _to be dug out of the carrier bags . . .

John
Paul
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Joined: 27 May 2004
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Posted: 02 Jun 2004
I've emailed a picture to an admin - hopefully it will be posted soon..
GemmaJF
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Joined: 25 Jan 2003
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Posted: 02 Jun 2004

From Paul,

'Heres a picture of a natterjack toad I took at Hauxley, Northumberland.'

 

PS Paul, an admins name is Gemma and the facility to upload pictures directly to RAUK has been permanently removed to reduce the sites bandwidth usage.


Gemma Fairchild, Independent Ecological Consultant
Caleb
Forum Coordinator
Joined: 17 Feb 2003
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Posted: 02 Jun 2004
I'm a bit suspicious of this photo, this toad seems to get around a bit-

Lincolnshire:
http://www.dunesholidaycottage.co.uk/Nature_Reserves.html

Merseyside:
http://www.merseyworld.com/sefton_coast/sub-nat.htm administrator38140.7867824074
GemmaJF
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Joined: 25 Jan 2003
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Posted: 02 Jun 2004
I was more than at a bit suspicious, but then that's why I put it up anyway.
Gemma Fairchild, Independent Ecological Consultant
Donny
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Joined: 11 May 2004
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Posted: 02 Jun 2004

Ummm...so is this a wind up then?


Paul
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Joined: 27 May 2004
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Posted: 02 Jun 2004
sorry guyz, wrong photo, i got that one off google image search, it was in the same folder as my other natterjack toad picks, the one i meant to send was called natterjack toad, this one was called natterjack_toad - with the _ ill send proper one tommorow, ive got to go right now.

- Natterjack Toad

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