Every morning for the past week i have a brief sojourn at the Botanical Gardens here in Durham. i am predominantly observing the 23 strong flock of Manx and Hebridean sheep for a behavioural project as part of my degree (mentioned in a previous post). after each visit the biting cold, wind and rain has caused me to hurry back to the warmth of the labs back on campus. sadly disregarding all the interesting things going on in the gardens on route. However today was a little different.
This difference came in the wondrous exuberance of the sun, who was out in full force. As i meandered back towards uni this unexpected change to my usual cold and miserable morning brought me to a standstill along one of the paths through the gardens to bask blissfully in the sunshine. as i stood there i heard some very distinct rasping, croaking noises coming from the small pond to my left. on peering into the murk it suddenly became clear that these were created by a host of frogs and toads all clambering over one another, the males clasping the females tightly where one imagines their waist would be if they could ever be described as having one.
It was a true orgy of procreation and a wildlife spectacle that has sadly been lost in many ponds throughout the UK. i watched for a short while and then crawling to the edge i managed to get a few photos on my phone and these i now share with you.
peeping toad (actually a frog)