With the arrival of spring comes the welcome emergence of frogs and toads from their winter cover – keep your ears open and you might soon hear them croaking in the spring sunshine and on mild evenings.
The amphibians will respond to the warmer conditions by leaving the log piles, stones and sheds they have called home for the past few months and returning to their breeding ponds to mate and spawn.
Sometimes dozens of frogs in particular will return to their favourite watering hole, so ponds appear full to bursting and then topped up with spawn too. Actually, this is normal, and most will disperse, leaving just the native residents to stay with you for the summer – they’re not overcrowded, no matter how it might look!
The most likely species to spot this spring is the common frog, which can range in colour from brown to a bright green. They have smooth skin, jump surprisingly far and lay their spawn in large clumps.
You might also be fortunate enough to see the common toad, which has brown, uneven skin and shorter back legs, so will crawl rather than hop as a result. Toad spawn is laid in flowing lengths so very different to frog spawn.
It’s well worth trying to attract amphibians to your own garden, as they will prey on all the slugs and snails that consume your plants, as well as the irritating midges that summer brings.
However, you will need a pond or even just a water feature if you haven’t got the space, as frogs and toads need these to breed Ensure one side slopes up so they can climb out, as amphibians are vulnerable to spaces with steep sides. We have special Frog Ramps here at CJ Wildlife if you need help with this. Provide water-based plants and rocks for them to hide under from birds like herons and to bask on during warmer days.
Elsewhere in the garden, try to keep one area wild and unmowed so the creatures can pass from their pond to other parts of the garden unnoticed by predators. Log piles and compost heaps are great refuges where they can enjoy damp conditions as the weather heats up. Our Frog and Toad House will be a welcome hidey-hole and may also be chosen by your visitors as somewhere to hibernate when next winter comes.
Finally, small passageways in fences of just a few inches, will be invaluable for frogs, toads and even hedgehogs when it comes to moving from place to place, especially in spring when amphibians are making the journey back to breeding ponds.
Celebrate Save The Frogs Day on 27th April 2019
CJ Wildlife are proud to be working in partnership with Froglife, the reptile and amphibian charity on conservation and awareness projects.
CJ Wildlife stock a range of bird food, feeders and care products as well as gifts for the home and you can benefit from a 10% discount using the code UKHPET18. Visit www.birdfood.co.uk or call FREEPHONE 0800 731 2820 to find out more.