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A Spanish Terrapin Just Peed On Me!

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I was down at the river modifying and moving my Kingfisher perch and on the way back Wally spotted something in the long grass.

It was a Spanish Terrapin (often referred to as a Spanish Turtle). It was fairly large with its shell about 25cm long. As it was heading towards the road I decided to relocate it back to the river bank.

I picked it up and it let its bladder go, all over me and I know smell like rotten fish. I released it back at the river bank and it hurried into the water.

(Shot and edited using Lightroom on my Samsung Galaxy S9+)


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My Local Mediterranean Tree Frogs Were Active During Daylight Today

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Normally the local Mediterranean Tree Frogs wait until dusk before they start calling but this afternoon I was in the garden and I could hear two of them calling. So I headed down to take a look.

You may remember last year I got in a local disused Cistern to photograph and film them calling (click the link to watch the video). This year there is very little water in the Cistern but they are gathering at a large flooded area next to it. Of course, this will probably dry up, but they must be used to breeding in dry conditions.

The Mediterranean Tree Frog is very similar to the smaller European Tree Frog apart from the black stripe. As you can tell from the photos the black stripe stops at its front legs whereas the European Tree Frog’s runs the length of its body. This is why the Mediterranean is often called the Stripeless Tree Frog.

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Mediterranean Tree Frog - Rela-meridional - Hyla meridionalis
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A Quick Thunderstorm Brought Out A Fire Salamander

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Although very common, particularly in the Algarve Hills, the Fire Salamander remains very hidden for most of its life but does venture into the open at night. After rainfall they can come out into the open even in the daytime, but I’ve never seen one in daylight.

I spotted this one heading under one of our terraces and into a Cat Bed, this is why it has cat hair stuck to it. I took a photo and then placed it in a much better location than the Cat bed!

This one was only around 10cm long, they can grow up to 25cm, I suspect it’s quite young.

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Young Fire Salamander
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European Common Toad Saved From The Strimmer

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Due to the crazy amount of rain we’ve had this spring, parts of the garden has turned into a jungle, therefore today, armed with a strimmer I began the clean up. I always check and walk through an area when strimming and usually leave an area where things can escape to.

Today we found what is probably an old friend we kept seeing last year, a European Common Toad (Bufo bufo). Down here in Southern Europe they can grow to huge sizes and as you can see on the 3rd photo, it’s bigger than my sunglasses!

European Common Toad (Bufo bufo)
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Mediterranean Tree Frogs Calling (Video)

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After finding the breeding spot for the Mediterranean Tree Frogs a few days ago, I decided that this months article for the Algarve Resident will be all about these little green guys. However, I also wanted to get a recording of them calling.

So, it was Shoes and Socks off and back into the irrigation tank to capture some video, the dogs you can hear in the background are from a nearby house, it was because they could see the lights and movement. I also got a photograph of one sitting high in the grass which can be seen below the video (it’s also the cover photo for the YouTube Video).

{Remember to watch in HD if possible}


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Mediterranean Tree Frogs Right On Our Doorstep

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Most nights at this time of year, just after sunset, we can hear a loud croaking coming from a location nearby. So I decided to investigate what Frogs/Toads make these loud noises. After following the noise I stumbled across an old disused Cisterna (Water Storage Tank). The noise is amplified by the concrete circular wall which is why it can be heard from a distance. I could see the Frogs but not close enough to identify. I decided that I’d return the following night with the camera, but needed a light as I’m not a fan of using flash on wildlife in the dark.

{Click image for a higher resolution}
Mediterranean Tree Frog Calling (Male)

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