Frogs and toads in droves

The February frog chorus at Wheatland Farm’s eco lodges! It’s the precursor for the annual summer froglet extravaganza that really gets going in June.

It’s February, and it’s sometimes wet. Well, we have to admit it. Devon sometimes is a little damp. And when it is, the frogs and toads come out in droves. They’re heading to the pond – mostly the big wildlife pond below Balebarn Eco Lodge. Here are a couple of clips from our Youtube collection to show you the scale of this amphibious invasion.

The first is a quick mobile phone trip from our backdoor into the old Wheatland Farm farmyard. We’re trying not to tread on too many frogs along the way! Maggie had just come back with Euan from a sports event and had had to clear frogs from in front of the car. Even so, Euan found one sat just in front of one of the wheels. We didn’t even make a full survey – just the concrete outside Otter Cottage and leading to Balebarn Lodge. Suffice to say there were frogs and toads everywhere.

So many frogs and toads on their way to the eco lodge ponds!

By the way, that’s not a towing hook you see on our all electric car. It’s the tie down point for the kayak. We wouldn’t want anyone to think the electric car has been unreliable!

The second is a one minute ‘chill’ video from a couple of days later. You could hear the frog chorus at the pond even in the afternoon sunlight. At times it looked like rain was falling on the pond, making ripples. But it’s just the many many frogs diving deeper when they get momentarily disturbed.

One minute of winter frog and birdsong from the eco lodges.

So there will be acres and acres of frogspawn (the clumps) and toadspawn (the stringy stuff) in the pond. And soon there will be zillions of tadpoles. They won’t all make it to adulthood, of course. But come June we’re pretty much guaranteed to see Wheatland Farm’s annual frog exodus from the pond. The froglets get everywhere, not restricting themselves to the field below Balebarn Lodge. They’ll be up in the main Lodge field too. You’ll be able to see them in the short grass in front of Honeysuckle and Nuthatch lodges. Lots get picked off by birds and other predators. But next winter, when we do our clear up work around the lodges, we’ll still be finding frogs and toads seeing out the colder months in the undergrowth. It’s all part of the seasonal cycle here at Wheatland Farm.