Common toad

Comma
October 27, 2011
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November 10, 2011
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Common toad

Common Toad (Bufo Bufo)
There are only two species of toads in the UK, Common or Brown toads and Natterjack toads. The Natterjack toad is quite rare and only found in a few places while the Common toad can be found in many areas. Natterjacks are distinguished by a yellow line down the length of the back which is not there on the Common toads. Like frogs, toads need water and must find a pond to spawn. On just a few nights when conditions are right they move to their spawning grounds to mate. In some areas there are thousands of toads and where roads have been built crossing their spawning routes local people turn out and carry the toads across the roads in buckets full to prevent them being killed in their hundreds by passing cars. You may have seen signs warning of toads on the road in these areas. For a short period of a couple of days these spawning ponds are full of toads, then overnight they may completely disappear. Toad spawn is easily distinguished from that of frogs because it is laid in long strings of eggs rather than in globular masses. After the toad spawn has been laid and the toads have left the ponds they may travel long distances from the water and are quite happy to stay in places which are much drier than those used by frogs.

There are toads all over the place but you probably won’t see them unless you go out at night looking for them although they can sometimes be seen out in the daytime. It’s easy to attract them to your wildlife garden by putting places where they can hide. During the winter they hibernate so a pile of logs (which is compulsory in a true wildlife garden) or a pile of rocks strategically placed so there are lots of cavities is another good place for them to both hibernate or spend the daytime throughout the summer. When I created my stone wall I made sure there were plenty of places within it for all kinds of wildlife and I often see toads around the garden and pond after dark.

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