Sunday, 22 March 2009

Photo of the Day #27: Male common toad

Male common toad
(Bufo bufo Linnaeus, 1758)
Bufonidae; Anura; Amphibia; Chordata
Epping Forest Field Centre (Lily Pond)
March 2009

I had a very successful couple of days last weekend. I signed up for a Field Studies Council 2-day course on British amphibians. There was theory on identification of British amphibians (there are only 7 native species, but they are still surprisingly hard to tell apart!), conservation and wildlife law, and several practical sessions too. During the daytime sessions on the Saturday, I saw three of the five amphibians found in the Forest (common frog, Rana temporaria; palmate newt, Lissotriton helveticus; smooth newt, L. vulgaris). After dark, the group went torching for amphibians in the ponds. As well as my first ever great crested newts (Triturus cristatus), we caught our first toads. This one didn't seem too bothered by being handled by us, but he did squeak a few times, probably to tell us, "Oi! I'm not a female, so don't try any funny stuff!"

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