A Rare View Of An Iberian Midwife Toad In Daylight

I was inside the house putting my mobile studio back into storage after a storm postponed a commercial shoot today and Emma was shouting from outside the front door; “Craig, quick grab your camera!”. She had uncovered an Iberian Midwife Toad that had decided to shelter near the front door, probably from the heavy rainstorm overnight.

It’s rare to see these tiny toads in the daylight, so I carefully placed it on a nearby rock and shot these photos before placing it in undergrowth for it to hide until darkness.

The tiny toads are amazing and at night have a high-pitched beeping noise. Rather than me type all the information again, take a look at my Algarve Resident article I wrote in November 2019.

In case you are wondering this was about just 40mm in length, the size of an adult.

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Spiny Toad Catching A Late Night Snack (Video)

The Spiny Toad (Bufo spinosus) is a separation species from the European Common Toad (Bufo bufo) and they can grow to huge sizes. Tonight, I was enjoying a drink in the garden when I spotted one on the steps. It was clever, it was waiting near a light because it was attracting bugs. It was happy for me to sit there watching and I was about to take a photo on my mobile when a large bug came along. I quickly switched to video mode and captured it grab it’s snack.

{Remember to watch in HD if possible}

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My Local Mediterranean Tree Frogs Were Active During Daylight Today

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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I Didn’t Have To Look Yesterday!

For those that don’t know anything about Rugby might not know that Saturday was a huge celebration as I watched my home nation of Wales win the 6 Nations Grand Slam (means they beat all the other 5 nations!). In Wales, this is a big deal, so to cut a long story short, Sunday wasn’t a day for me being out and about with a camera.

However, first up was a False Smooth Snake on our patio enjoying the heat of the afternoon sun (yes, I didn’t see the morning!). It couldn’t stay there as either the Dog or one of the Cats would probably see it as a new toy.

The False Smooth Snake is small, this one no longer than about 20cm. It is a venomous snake, however, due to its small size it poses no threat to a human, even if it does manage to sink its teeth in. I helped him on his way to an area outside of the garden and it did take a strike but missed!

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Mediterranean Tree Frog On The Front Terrace

Tonight it is warm enough to have the door leading to our front terrace open and I was enjoying a nice game of Golf Clash on my phone when I was interrupted by the call of a Male Mediterranean Tree Frog (also known as the Stripeless Tree Frog) just a couple of meters away from me.

You may remember me getting this shot and video last year where they breed in a disused water cistern, however, this year there hasn’t been enough rain (yet) for them to breed in there. We’ve never had one this close to the house before (it is not uncommon for them to come inside houses!). There isn’t really water for them to breed here (apart from my Reflection Pool, not ideal) at the Quinta so tomorrow I will make a small pond in hope it will attract them to breed. Hopefully more to come…….

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Mediterranean Tree Frog
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European Common Toad Saved From The Strimmer

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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