Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Western Chorus Frog Survey

 It is chorus frog season here in southern Ontario. There are 514 volunteers surveying through this program. We've been sent an email to begin, as they are awake from winter slumbers and calling for love. This is what they look like, but I won't see any. It's a listening survey. They are off in the water.

This photo is from our handouts. It's impossible to see them!

It is a long-term survey, and this is my second year. This is what we are contributing to:

The conditions have to be right:

  • suitable weather conditions, above 10 C., no wind, little or no rain,
  • wood frogs and spring peepers singing indicate that conditions are ripe,
  • visit between 10 a.m. and 18:00 hours,
  • visit three times minimum, with 24 hours between visits.
  • There was a great deal of online training available, with sample frog calls, to help distinguish the species:

    • western chorus frog, wood frog, spring peeper, northern leopard frog, American toad.

    Head office sent a message saying the conditions are right, and to go to it. 

    JB was going to have a nap, I told him I was going to go and check a nearby spot, where I have heard the chorus frogs, in the old quarry. Once I arrived, I could hear them. I couldn't see them, but there are thousands! This isn't an assigned site, but they were there last year. This is what they sound like in the video below: Frogging Apr 4 .

    Uh, oh. I was near my one assigned site, #300, but forgot its location.  What I had forgotten is that I'd already put the package of materials on my clipboard. 

    We are assigned sites, using GPS co-ordinates. I duly looked them up, created screenshots. Two are the same sites from last year, the others we had to find. It did not go well. Not enough detail! 

    I had to go back to the house to access the Wifi from the car. Found it. Back I went. By now, it was a balmy 12 C., and sunny, but no chorus frogs, only wood frogs. We're not to trespass, of course. I headed home to volunteer my driver.  

    I was assigned three locations on the other side of the lake. Off we went. I had a huge problem. I didn't have my phone GPS with me, the car GPS is old.

    "Sundance Lane" – AKA 'R1' on Google maps.

    frog survey  

    It's not easy! 

    This lane is so bad, they've put a mirror up to look for traffic.

    This is site #1661, Sundance Lane R1 

    It was a lovely drive. I liked the burl on this tree, where we had to turn around. Wrong road!

    A dead end, I never did hear any frogs.

    As always, the twitterpated quail is on the road, looking for love. They do this every year!
    It is typical cottage country, with names on the tree.

    Back to civilisation!


    Christine said...

    Nice to learn of the chorus frog.

    Tom said...

    ...what a great shot of the frog!

    RedPat said...

    What a noise in your tape! I hope that you find a bunch in your designated locations.

    Nancy J said...

    You are dedicated and so strong to be out there looking and listening.This is a worthy survey, years ago a friend of ours did a survey at night, at a specific spot near a stream, to check for an endangered species that the department thought were dwindling in numbers. He would come in at 7 a.m., frozen cold, after a night in the open.

    Olga said...

    Very interesting activity. I know there are places where people go out at night to hold up any traffic along some roads so frogs can cross safely. Which apparently they do in large numbers at certain locations.

    Cloudia said...

    Glad their song is heard!

    Lorrie said...

    You are a dedicated frog surveyor! Hope you hear some soon.

    DeniseinVA said...

    That was quite an adventure! I enjoyed this thank you Jenn. I have heard them at this time of the year. They cause quite a fascinating racket.