So I got home kind of late the other night (around 9pm) and as I turned into our street, I heard the loudest calls coming from our yard!
It was the Gray Tree Frogs that come to the little backyard pond we have set up. Their chorus was amazing, drowning out all other night sounds by far.
As soon as I got in the house I grabbed my head lamp and camera and went back outside.
When the frogs are chorusing like this it’s incredibly easy to sit nearby and watch them (after you’ve figured out where they are). They are so intent on singing and defining territories and finding mates that even though I am only a few feet away from them they don’t seem concerned. (I also told them that I’m vegetarian and don’t eat frogs, so maybe that helps? 😉 )
It’s sometimes hard to see the Gray Tree Frogs because they blend in to their surroundings pretty well. In many cases, they are actually in the brush around the pond rather than right in the water. When they move and splash a bit is when I try to hone in on their locations.
Something I noticed for the first time this night was that a number of the frogs were pairing up by the side of the pond rather than in the water where they would lay eggs. Upon inspection of the ponds this morning, I saw lots of egg masses. It will be fun to watch them hatch, grow and develop into froglets.
I’ve created a photo album on our Loudoun Wildlife Facebook page to share pictures from this big chorus night. It was really fun to go out and sit with them. At one point, as I was crouched next to the pond, getting “the shot”, I heard some splashing next to me. There are Green Frogs in the pond right now too so I expected it to be one of them moving around but as I looked over, it was a raccoon washing it’s paws in the water. With all the frog commotion, it hadn’t noticed me, just as I hadn’t noticed it, and we both had looks of surprise when we spotted each other.
A fun wildlife night. I forgot to do a recording of the frogs that night but if they do it again in in the next day or so I’ll record them and post the audio file in the comments here or as a link off the facebook page.
In late July, I’ll be leading a night time field trip at the Blue Ridge Center to listen to and hopefully see Gray Tree Frogs. You can check our calendar for details. Space will be limited to just 15 participants and we can’t guarantee that the frogs will come out to play that night, but we sure hope they (and you) do.