What a fun month to watch wildlife at the pond in Glen Providence Park! The unseasonably warm weather continued with the temperature reaching the 80’s some days, and the warmth really brought the pond to life, including these American Toads! By mid-March, the reptiles and amphibians emerged, along with blossoming trees and ephemeral flowers; and birds started to arrive on their Spring migration.
On our St. Patrick’s Day Spring Ephemerals Walk, we were lucky to find mating Pickerel Frogs– the only frog species in this region that call underwater. We have a hydrophone on loan from Dr. Mac Given, and we did hear something making noise underwater, but it was the low croaking call above water that led us to find the pair.
Just a few days later, and right on cue on the first day of Spring(!), dozens of American Toads started a three day serenade at the pond. It was so loud, it could be mistaken for a car alarm! You can hear their call, and those of other frogs and toads, at the Frog & Toad Calls of Pennsylvania website.
The comical toads were truly a sight to be seen, and by the end of the third day, the edges of the pond were filled with curly strings of eggs! You can read about their life cycle a this Toad Life Cycle website… there should be miniature toads hopping around by May 20. Even their awkward swimming technique was entertaining to watch, and surprisingly effective.
Of course the turtles also came out, including the Red-eared Sliders and Common Snapping Turtles. Even the snakes emerged- everything seems to be coming out of hibernation!
Other harbingers of Spring were the Eastern Phoebes: sweet little birds that arrived in the park and settled in around the pond. Look for their tail bobbing and listen for their song, which sounds like “phoe-be”.
Demonstrating the remarkable timing of Mother Nature, we encountered both our first mosquito and our first bat of the season on the same day…
Click on any photo below for a closer look. You can view more photos in our Facebook Albums: including Wildlife, Scenery, and History. And Fig Media posted beautiful photographs from their spring hike in Glen Providence Park!