Archivos de diario de abril 2016

18 de abril de 2016

Berry Springs Preserve Herps of Texas report, 16Apr2016

Eight people came out and dodged the raindrops around sunset in search of frogs and toads. We started at the ditch in the pecan orchard, and although we saw a small flock of low-flying Franklin's Gulls overhead, and three Yellow-crowned Night Herons in the ditch, we only had fleeting glimpses of jumping frogs along the water's edge. A Rio Grande Leopard Frog under the pond fishing pier sounded quite impressive, and although we weren't able to see him, several of them stayed at Call Index 1 throughout the listening hour. Blanchard's Cricket Frogs started at Call Index 2 and quickly rose to Call Index 3. At least two American Bullfrogs called sporadically (CI = 1). In spite of the clouds and darkness, a few bats were heard over the ponds using the bat detector. Two scorpions were seen under blacklight at the small pavilion on the way back to the cars.

Publicado el abril 18, 2016 12:05 MAÑANA por k_mccormack k_mccormack | 1 observación | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

24 de abril de 2016

Berry Springs Preserve Herps of Texas report, 23Apr2016

Nine people came out for a special monitoring visit after 2 - 5 days of heavy rains, and we were rewarded with seven amphibian species !! One was only heard in the distance (American Bullfrog, CI = 1) and wasn't recorded, but one (Gray Treefrog, CI = 1) was a new species for this group at the park and recordings were collected. We also obtained photos and/or recordings of Rio Grande Leopard Frog (CI = 1), Gulf Coast Toad (CI = 3), Green Treefrog (CI = 3), Blanchard's Cricket Frog (CI = 3), and Great Plains Narrowmouth Toad (CI = 3).
When we arrived, we heard the Great Kiskadee that's been reported in the park, but we didn't see it. Then we walked to the spring at the head of the western-most slough (near the bird blind) and observed the Green Treefrogs, some Blanchard Cricket Frogs, and a Rio Grande Leopard Frog. While Sue Anderson stayed behind to record an odd-sounding frog there, the rest of us headed back through the primitive campsites along Berry Creek (at campsite #9, the water was rushing too loudly to hear anything at the creek edge, and we didn't see anything), but we did hear a Great Horned Owl south of the creek, and we saw a Rio Grande Leopard Frog and Gulf Coast Toad near the foot bridge and sidewalk by the playground.
By the time we got back to the parking lot area, Sue was already recording Great Plains Narrowmouth Toads at the base of the hill below the restrooms in a small pool next to the sidewalk. Beth Buncan heard a Gray Treefrog in the distance, so Reggie Leuty and I followed our ears all the way back to a small pond just northeast of improved camping area. There were Rio Grande Leopard Frogs, Gulf Coast Toads, Blanchard's Cricket Frogs, and Great Plains Narrowmouth Toads in the pond and one Gray Treefrog in a tree next to the pond. Beth joined us a few minutes later, and we tried to contact Sue via phone/text to let the rest of the group know where we were, but unfortunately she wasn't getting cell phone reception then. Finally, as we started heading back to our cars, we heard a pack of coyotes east of the park. What a night !
One thing we learned is that we should make an effort to monitor as soon as possible after heavy rains - the amphibian activity was notably less that night than it had been two nights earlier.
There was also a question about treefrogs and how the males calling in the trees near water find females and mate in the water. I found an AmphibiaWeb reference regarding Gray Treefrog breeding habitat which probably also applies to other treefrogs: "During the breeding season, eastern gray treefrogs are found calling near the edges of ponds, ephemeral wetlands and ditches, and from floating algae and emergent vegetation... At dusk, gray treefrogs may begin calling from high in the trees surrounding a pond. As the evening progresses, individuals move down the trees (sometimes calling along the way) until they reach lower branches or shrubs, or they continue until they reach the ground and move to a point usually within 1.5 m of the water’s edge... ...females may mate on the first day they arrive at the breeding pond. Both males and females have been observed to mate ≤ 3 times/breeding season... ...females have developing follicles throughout the breeding season, and production of later follicles is a function of foraging success. ...strong breeding pond philopatry [is reported]." So we should keep the improved camping area pond in mind the next time we get heavy rains.

Publicado el abril 24, 2016 05:34 TARDE por k_mccormack k_mccormack | 6 observaciones | 3 comentarios | Deja un comentario