British wildlife recordings

Bufo bufo : Common Toad - Bufonidae; Rana temporaria : Common Frog - Ranidae

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  • Type

    sound

  • Duration

    00:01:28

  • Shelf mark

    W1CDR0001408 BD12

  • Subjects

    Birds

  • Recording date

    1960s

  • Recording locations

    OS Grid Reference(277500,78500)

  • Recordist

    Shove, Lawrence

  • Species

    Common Toad, Bufo bufo & Common Frog, Rana temporaria

  • Description

    A recording of long flatulent sounds and “cough” calls made by several individuals in a pond. There are six species of amphibian found in Britain today, with the common toad being one of the most familiar as they are often seen during migration to their breeding ponds. Toads are usually more heavily built than frogs and the common toad has brown warty skin although colour variations do occur with some individuals being terracotta, grey or olive in colour. Females are larger than males and it is the males who call at night to attract a mate, this is often called a ‘release’ call and is a rather high-pitched but quiet ‘qwark-qwark-qwark’ sound. The mating call itself is seldom heard and is similar to the ‘release call’ but with slower and more drawn out notes. The common frog is the amphibian that we are most likely to find in our gardens and contrary to popular belief they actually spend very little time in the water except during the breeding season. This species is mainly brown or olive-green in colouration with a mixed pattern of darker markings on top and a light-coloured stripe down each side of the body. Males typically call with their head out of the water but the main part of their body submerged. Their throats are extended and the vibrating resonance is transmitted to listening females through both the air and water.

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