An other afternoon adventure with my kids at my local spot for Natterjack Toads, the juveniles of about 2 - 3 cm are walking around in the grass during the day and the adults are found after flipping some wooden plates.
Close to home looking for newts, toads and frogs with my 2 year old son, we did not see much, but this 30 cm Pike was suddenly in our 20 cm diameter net.
Me and my 2 kids, 2 nets, a small pink bucket and the pond close to our home, witin minutes we found 9 Common Newts, the kids wanted to show them to their mother, so thats when I took some photos of them.
I Really love these pretty little newts!
The 5th attempt within the last year to find Spadefoot Toads.
In the early evening I drove towards a place where they breed and finally I found what I was looking for, 2 Spadefoot Toads and some Alpine Newts.
Very happy I drove 80 min. back home.
In the evening of the 25th I picked up Bobby from the central trainstation of Utrecht, after that we drove to Emmen, close to Emmen we stopped the car to go for a piss, we were 1km away from the place we wanted to visit, but my car did not have any reactions anymore to my attempts to start the engine...
We decided to leave the car next to the road and walk towards the pond with Common Spadefoot Toads in them, when we were about 1 km from the car we saw a police car with its special lights on next to my car, we started to walk back, but the police went away again.....maybe they went away to catch some bad-guys...
In the pond the water was not that deep, 70 cm at the most, but with a lot of vegatation, so it was hard to spot a Toad, we heard several Common Spadefoot Toads calling, but we did not find any of them.
Bobby was wearing rubber boots and I was with my shoes in the water, so when my body temperature was around 35 Celcius we called it the night and drove with the heater on maximum towards a B & B in Eelde, here we jumped into bed around 04:00.
The next morning we were supposed to get out of bed around 07:00, but a certain someone had the annoying habit of snoozing, so I was awake 45 minutes too early.....Thanks mate!!
We had a great breakfast and drove to the place where we had agreed to meet with Tim and Sjuul, we were right on time and my car did not have any more problems. From this place we walked to an area where melanistic (black) Adders live.
The weather was ok, a bit cold, but the sun came and soon after that Tim spotted the first Adder, a male.
I found a Common Toad and short after that I saw a pile of Adders, 2 normal ones and a black one which was already moving away, I took a photo of the other 2.
I think we found around 10 Adders that day and when we walked back we saw a second black one, but it escaped.
After this we went back to a place with Russian Rat Snakes, we found 1 and 2 Grass Snakes.
After bringing Tim and Sjuul to a bus station, Bobby and I drove to Utrecht where I dropped off Bobby and after almost an hour of traffic jams in Utrecht, I went home.
It was a great trip, hopefully next time the Common Spadefoot Toads will show themselves.
Thanks to Tim Leerschool & Sjuul Verhaegh!
After work I spend the afternoon at a nature reserve close to Meerkerk, here I saw male Moor Frogs who were still a little bit blue, it was clear that I was just a couple of days too late for finding real blue ones......maybe next year!!
A daytrip to a quarry close to the German city Bonn to find some Green Toads, after 2 and an half hour drive I arrived, I had to climb over the fence to get in and shortly after that I heard a male Green Toad calling, when I came closer it stopped, so I did not find that one.
After flipping some stuff I found around 10 Green Toads, so this day was a succes!
Close to The Netherlands there are places where the American Bull Frog still occurs, there are attempts of destroying them all, but that did not kill them all yet.
So I went to "De Mosten", a place in Belgium close to the border and looked around, I saw many Green Frogs, but no American Bull Frogs...
When I almost wanted to go home again I walked close to the water and a frog jumped in with a loud squeel, I did not see it, but tried to catch it with a net and lucky me, the frog was in the net!!
Other species found there were Palmate Newts and a Great Crested Newt.
In 2011 we still had a Queen in The Netherlands and this day was Queensday, so the whole country is drunk and dressed in orange.
So I went in my orange outfit to the Veluwe, a forest with a couple of ponds in them.
In the ponds was many newt activity, the Alpine Newts were also in their party outfit with their orange bellies, except for one, it was an adult male that stayed in its larvae stadium, so a neotenic individual.
I also found several Italian Crested Newts, they are introduced to this area many years ago.
When I arrived at the area I had a small aquarium with me to photograph the Newts, but it fell on the ground and did not work anymore.....horrible timing, now I dont have decent photos of the neotenic Alpine Newt.....
Other species that I saw were Common Toad, Pool Frog, Grass Frog and Viviparous Lizard.
A lot of amphibians going for it on this day, I 've seen Common Toads on almost any other living and dead thing that was around there, the Grass Frogs were also very busy with each other in the water.
Because the parents of my girlfriend were married for 37 years I had the pleasure to stay in a bungalow parc for the weekend, the parc had many things to do, but there was also an Adder spot in Limburg within 30 minutes from that place......choosing was not very difficult.
I walked around there and saw around 6 Adders, all males, I left them as I found them and looked around for more, close to a pond were some Pool Frogs and inside the pond I saw many Palmate Newts.
In the dryer areas were Sand Lizards and Viviparous Lizards. I also had an encounter with a female wild boar, she ran away just meters in front of me, but when she was gone I still heard strange noises from the vegetation, inside were 3 little baby schweinen and when I walked towards the sort of noise, I accidently stepped on a 4th little piggy, it screamed like a pig........and I was a bit worried that their mommy would return, but she didn't...
Some photos from the spring period in 2010 close to my home.