Season for choosy toads
As spring gets into full swing and the birdsong becomes noticeable, one creature which is having a hard time of it recently is the toad. Toads are quite a fussy creature when it comes to choosing where to breed. You can come across them in a garden pond or even under the flower pots or in the flowerbeds, but they do tend to like large and established ponds, lakes and ditches. A toad has dirty brown bobbly skin. Its pupils show a vertical line and they tend to crawl and do a weak hop compared to the agile and slippery textured frog. The female toad is twice the size of the male. Toads are very choosy as to where they breed and tend to favour deep water and water which is clear of choked vegetation. The female toad will lay up to 10ft or a couple of metres of jelly like string of spawn, with as many as 7,000 eggs, which is entangled within the waterside plants. On the Romney Marsh, the toads tend to breed in a selected few large ditches or sewers. However, the population trend is down and places like Dungeness, where in the summer a decade ago, thousands of young toads (or toadlets) would be leaving the pits on warm damp evenings.