Froggie went a-courting
partner, nuptial pads of thickened, rough skin have developed on his thumbs allowing a tight grip on rough patches on the female’s sides.
Spawning itself takes place in the water: the female lays over 2,000 black eggs which are immediately fertilised by sperm released by the male. At first the spawn sinks down into the water, but as their gelatinous capsules absorb water and swell up, large clumps float to the surface. The female wanders off, leaving her offspring to their fate, and the male looks around for another female. Frogs reach sexual maturity at three to four years, and usually return to the same breeding site each year.
There is only one common frog species found in Britain though, from the range of colour and markings, you would be forgiven for thinking that there are many. The skin ranges from a pale greenishgrey, through bright yellow to a dark, olive brown; and it can be marked with speckles in black, brown or red.
The frog can change the colour of its skin by manipulating dark pigment cells scattered over its body: it darkens in cold and damp weather. The pale underside camouflages it against the light from underwater predators.
Frogs live on a diet of invertebrates. Slugs and worms are favourites, but insects may also be caught. In their turn, adult frogs are a welcome food source for many larger fish and birds.
Next to the nute swan, the grey heron is our largest common bird with a wing span of 5- 6 ft. Look for “those