It’s two years this month since the construction of my frog pond, and as you can see from my original posting, and the photos below – it’s come a long way since then.
There have been a few ups and downs along the way …
Like the goldfish which died within days of being set free, or became meals for kookaburras. In retrospect, this was not a bad thing as they probably would have eaten tadpoles anyway, and the few that remain live up to their Comet name, being wary and probably slightly traumatised!
Then there was the soupy green algae which developed the first summer, and necessitated the installation of an unattractive shade cloth. I’m hoping that by the end of this summer, the tree ferns I planted will sufficiently shade the pond to allow its removal.
And the substantial leak which developed this winter. A messy digging session uncovered a subsidence problem, now fixed.
None of this, however, seemed to faze the frogs who turned up in great numbers to disturb my summer nights. The frog species count currently stands at 9, and I’m hoping for more this season. Visit my new Frog Page to see photos and videos.
The frogs have suddenly gone quiet. Even the reliable little Dwarf Tree frog is silent. Maybe it’s because the nights are slightly cooler, or maybe they are all waiting for a huge thunderstorm. Or perhaps it’s just that they have finished their “frog business” for the season. Who knows.
The last few nights there has just been ONE lonely frog, sitting on the edge of the pond quietly “quacking” every now and then. It’s last frog species to arrive, the Great Barred frog. The one that really shouldn’t be there according to his habitat requirements. Perhaps that explains his lack of enthusiasm? I’ve pointed out to him that my pond is not exactly the Frog Hilton for the female of his species and that he needs to put in a bit more effort if he hopes to attract a mate any time soon.
Well, the Rain God gave us two days to mow and clean up before re-commencing daily thunderstorms. I’m not complaining though. The garden is fresh and green and full of birdlife – lorikeets, king parrots, catbirds, galahs, honeyeaters, bower birds and more. I’ve even had a few wild ducks wandering around looking for snails and slugs in the grass. Which is why I nearly missed a big event …
Three nights ago I heard a quiet “quack quack” coming from somewhere in the garden. Thinking it was a duck, I ignored it. The second night, the same thing. Then last night my curiosity got the better of me, and out I went with camera and torch to see what this duck was doing when it was supposed to be sleeping!
Strangely, no ducks, and for a while no “quacks” either. So I sat down in the wet grass and waited … and after a few minutes, from the leaf litter behind me came a “quack quack”. I turned to discover one of the frogs on my wish list, a Great Barred Frog.
The Great Barred Frog is a cousin to the Giant Barred Frog which is endangered, although spotted in the lagoons in North Bellingen. They both like the same habitat, and my pond doesn’t exactly fit the description, which is why I wasn’t expecting it to turn up. That’s frog species number NINE !!
Inevitable, but a long time coming … a post on Sri Lankan frogs!
Many times during our holiday I heard frog calls, but without suitable clothing and equipment a frog expedition was not really practical, so I had to wait patiently until either the frogs came to me or until I stumbled upon one. Considering that there are 118 frogs recorded as existing in Sri Lanka my chances were pretty good.
High up the mountain in a lily pond at Dambulla Caves there were several very plain, not particularly photogenic and as yet un-identified frogs. But at Lunuganga, with the assistance of Damien the in-house wildlife expert, we spotted multiple frogs, two of whom I managed to photograph.