Tonight’s Amphibian Migration

How do you know that spring has arrived? Some would say it’s when they see their first Red-winged Blackbird. Some would say that it’s when a particular flower starts to bloom. But that’s all nonsense. Spring is officially here when Spring Peepers start calling. But before they do that, they must wake up from hibernation and migrate to woodland pools, where they lay their eggs. In these parts, Wood Frogs, Spotted Salamanders and Jefferson’s Salamanders often join them.
It rained pretty heavily until early afternoon, but then it stopped. But it still turned out to be a very good night for seeing amphibians. Wood Frogs were everywhere. I’ve never seen so many in one night (we only stayed for an hour).

Here’s a female heavy with eggs. Unfortunately they didn’t close the road like they usually do, so there were quite a few casualties. We called a ranger and he stopped by shortly thereafter to close it.

Although the Wood Frogs were calling in full force, there weren’t many Spring Peepers calling yet. Only two were seen on the road.

Salamanders tend to start crossing a bit later at night, but eventually they made their presence known. Here’s the first of many Spotted Salamanders.
One with relatively few spots.

But the Wood Frogs kept coming too. Sometimes I’d be photographing one and two or three would hop right on by.
A few were orange and a few were pink.

A hybrid/intergrade salamander that no one can quite figure out.

This spotted was just chillin’ in a roadside puddle after making it across the street.

And this one successfully crossed the “finish line” too.

Hey, that’s a spotted salamander, but it’s not a Spotted Salamander. This newt was probably looking to cash in on some tasty amphibian eggs.

Gray is my favorite color, and this Jefferson’s Salamander certainly was a fine sight to see.

It was quite a night!

Third Eye Herp

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