I went out on Sun 12 June out with my new buddy I had met through a mutual contact from mammalwatching.com (a great site for all things mammals). It was good night for frogging in the west – cold and wet – luckily it started to dry up as we parked up.
He had asked if I wanted to see Slender Tree Frogs (Litoria adelaidensis) at Alcoa Wellard Wetlands – old tailing dams that have been converted into a wetland – a great place for birding by day and frogging by night! I was keen and the weather was bad just like we needed it to be! We parked at the Bertenshaw Rd carpark, just off St Albans Rd, Wellard – just outside the main entrance to the wetlands.
I pulled on my wellies but my buddy had waders – this was a sign things were going to be wet!
We walked in and almost straight away saw a motorbike frog just sitting on the path. I didn’t get a photo as I had seen such a nice one the week before.
We headed down to one of the shallow ponds and could hear frogs really calling (follow the link to hear my SoundCloud recording). You could hear the harsh ‘Grrrrrrk’ of the Slender Tree Frog and the “OOoo EEee” of the Squelching Froglets (Crinia insignifera) (it reminded me if the cricket chant “OOoo Ahh…… Glenn McGrath”).
I wasn’t initially able to to spot the frogs but you could hear them calling all over – in true style they sensibly stopped when you got close and the light affected them. My buddy found a slender tree frog and helped to point out how they hang out hidden in the reeds with just their head out of the water calling for a girl to hookup with!
Once I had my eye in I was able to find one for myself. Almost impossible to see by the casual observer – also if you moved in the water too quickly they would disappear under. The pond wasn’t too deep for my wellies but waders will be needed for anything deeper or muddier!
I looked all over trying to find the Squelching Froglets – they are pretty small (only getting to 2.5cm) and call from the shallow water – I am sure they were among the submerged grass and impossible to spot – I just need to keep trying 🙂
We tried another pond that was just a muddy surface and then called it a night.
On the way home I spotted a Barn Owl in the car headlights sitting on a fence post. I saw it driving and turned back for confirmation. It was beautiful, staring right at me before flying off silently before I could get the camera out.
A great night with a new species photographed and another call recorded!