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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Spotted Another Iberian Midwife Toad

Once again, whilst taking Wally (the Dog) for his pre-bed pee-walk I found an Iberian Midwife Toad and only had my phone (Samsung Galaxy S8+) with me. However, I have to admit, this is a pretty impressive night shot, albeit shot in “Pro” mode and the RAW file post-edited in Lightroom.

Midwife Toad (Photographed using my Samsung Galaxy S8+ Phone)

For an idea on how small these Toads are, I took a shot with a €1 Coin for comparison. It’s amazing how loud the “Beep” noise they make can come from such a small creature. We can sometimes hear them from around half a kilometer (maybe more) away.

Midwife Toad and €1 Coin (Photographyed using my Samsung Galaxy S8+ Phone)

These small Toads emit a very electronic beeping sound and remarkable in that the female lays eggs and the male carries them around on his back until they are almost ready to hatch when he deposits them in a water source. This is where the name Midwife comes from.

I plan on getting some shots with the “real” camera soon and hopefully find some males carrying eggs. I will also get a recording of the calls, but this might not occur until the next rain which unfortunately is not forecast in the near future. We really need some rain now!

The Midwife Toads Have Started “Beeping”

We moved to the Algarve at the end of last year’s summer and when the first rains came, the hills came alive with what I can only describe as electronic beeps. I had no idea where this noise was coming from.

We have many Sheep and Goat farmers in the area, the herds normally having bells to locate them. I originally thought this was a new electronic device as it was such a constant noise. Then one evening I took a walk down to the river and it was like I’d walked into a late 80’s nightclub playing Acid House, for those not familiar with this craze of music, it could have lots of high-pitched electronic “trippy” noises. I soon realised the lack of Sheep and Goats and wondered if in fact it was Frogs making this noise. I was almost right, it was Toads, Midwife Toads or Iberian Midwife Toads to be exact.

Iberian Midwife Toad Captured on my Samsung Galaxy S8+

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