Lagoon Field Toads

Thousands of toads and frogs are living in the Lagoon Field. The toads leave the Lagoon Field every year around 9th March; they walk across the Northern Corridor to mate in North Pond at the southern end of the Swamp. The Northern Corridor and North Pond Pasture are covered with toads at the start of their mating frenzy  – I have to be very careful placing my feet to avoid squashing them. After a couple of weeks of vigorous mating, they return to the Lagoon Field for rest and recuperation until the same time next year.

The toads are a food source for heron and otters, I guess mink take advantage of the glut too. The herons snip off the toads’ heads with their beaks, and turn them inside out to eat: the toad’s skin tastes horrible. Otters launch themselves into North Pond after dark, making tremendous splashes: they grab a toad and leave the pond to eat it.

25 Comments on “Lagoon Field Toads

  1. This was really cool to watch, Mike! You captured the toads doing everything, and it’s fascinating. Also enjoyed hearing their croaking and calling, as well as the treasured cows making an audio contribution, too. I am amazed at the numbers!

    • Thanks Jet. I too am amazed every year at the large number of toads living in the Lagoon Field and around North Pond. The two weeks of toad mating on Wilden Marsh is an annual highlight for me.

  2. What an extraordinary display and I’m amazed at the number of Toads.

    (I can hear frogs at certain times of the year where I live next to Frogs Hollow Nature Reserve, but have never seen a single one Maybe when the council have finished removing all the non-indigenous trees on the site, I’ll be able to see more on the ground and near the water. The Nature Reserve near me is a classic example of lack of management in the past).

  3. No doubt the toads are unaware of the manmade boundaries that separate wildlife reserves and pockets of land that the Council wants to build on.

  4. Herons turn them inside out? Never heard of such a thing — do they only eat the insides and leave the skin? I was taken aback by all the toads and frogs in this video — we’re not nearly so lucky here on the eastern slopes of the Rockies. I did catch 3 wood frogs this spring in the midst of making baby frogs . 🙂 .

    • Yes, Sally, the herons snip the toad’s head off, eat the insides and leave the skin. At the end of the mating period, the bottom of the pond is littered with headless toad carcasses.

      The area of toads in the video was really quite small; there were thousands in that pond.

      • What a story Michael! And what an image of carcasses — straight out of Stephen King! We have blue herons here that (I think) are mostly looking for minnows etc in nearby creeks. Come spring I’ll be on the lookout for frog remains.

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