Monday, 20 May 2013

An Old Favourite

I paid a visit to Ainsdale Local Nature Reserve yesterday evening with North Merseyside Amphibian and Reptile Group members Mike Brown and Dave Hardacre to hear the Natterjack Toads unique chorus that echoes around stretches of the Sefton coast during the right conditions every spring. This year’s breeding season has been very successful so far, as the water table is so high the dune slacks are completely full and are in no danger of drying out before the toadlets emerge….fingers crossed!

Natterjack Toad - Ainsdale LNR
As darkness fell large numbers of male Toads could be heard croaking away as they attempted to lure mates into the pools; what a fantastic sound, these little beauties have a knack of ‘throwing’ their voices as they can appear to be calling right under your feet until you realise they are about thirty feet away! The optimum period to view this local natural highlight is around the third week of April, yet they are still going strong and well worth a visit. We must have seen at least twenty animals but heard many more, as we left the reserve they could be heard from the car park! Also on the reserve we found both male and female Smooth Newt, a female Great Crested Newt, Common Toad, and a singing Grasshopper Warbler.
Natterjack Toad - Ainsdale LNR

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