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Thursday, 22 March 2012

Upper Valley Toad Update

Todmorden toad season is off to the usual 'stop-start' mode due to variable night-time temperatures, even after warm days. Anything above 10C seems more promising for activity, as a guide for Toaders, if your hands feel cold it's probably too cold for toads too, bearing in mind wind and rain chill factors.

First sightings were Dobroyd and Woodhouse on 27th and 28th Feb, in quite sheltered areas. Other sites started from 8th March. Portsmouth Dam seems latest due to a big head-wind down the valley. Two dead males were found there on Sat 17th March.

We've got some brilliant teams out on the look-out at Woodhouse, Lumbutts and Portsmouth. Others like Tennis Pond, Walsden and Horsehold in Hebden Bridge could probably do with extra helpers. The highest number of toads on one night so far has been Woodhouse with 19 found (sadly many dead/run over) due to high traffic volume. Thanks to Cheryl for this record.

First toad shelters are now in place on the track-sides undergrowth at Portsmouth to prevent last year's tragedy when many dried up in the sun - they come out in the day there! Thanks to Dave Wilson for the black plastic piping.

Hoping for warmer nights soon and then they'll be on 'the march'. Happy Toading!
Portia

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