Monday, March 11, 2013

Hey, who's eaten all the frogs?

Slowly the frogs in the Tenterfield Creek began to stop croaking day after day until finally none could be heard within the creek itself. That was about a week ago. Their silence (or absence) seems to be a common occurrance in the area. With the increase of large water birds in the area, although only temporarily, maybe the frogs decided it was safer to leave the creek altogether than risk being eaten by these water birds?

Frogs can usually be heard any time of the day or night in the creek. That was until recently but now the creek is empty of frogs. I am actually in two minds over whether the frogs have been eaten or not, as I'm starting to think that although some of them may have been eaten, I also think frogs just moved out of the creek either to breed or to go somewhere safer during their non-breeding season. Come to think of it, it is more common to hear frogs along the side of the road than it is to hear them in the creek. That's over a 12 month period by the way.

Generally frog-eating birds do not hang around the sides of the road away from the creek. It is even rare to see these type of birds close to human houses. But frogs hanging around people's gardens is common.

Any surviving frogs tend to move away from the creek - to puddles on the side of the road or even move into people's gardens. For example, the closest frog to the creek in my area is at the corner of Francis and Douglas Streets, a whole 3/4 of a block away from the creek (more than 100 metres). There are more frogs on Francis Street, north side of Douglas Street, but they are about 1/3 the distance closer to the Tenterfield Creek.

Going further away from the Tenterfield Creek, between Francis and Rouse Streets, along Clive Street, there are several different species of frogs on the edge of the road at the moment. The area is grassed and it dips down to form a ditch on the side of the road and they are concentrated around and near water culvets.

Frogs calling out along Clive Street. When the frogs go quiet
all you hear is a cricket.

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