February – What to look out for
Look out for FROGS and TOADS!
This is their mating time and they are on the move. February and March is the time when we are most likely to see them as large numbers converge on their breeding ponds. As Portbury Wharf is a wetland area with plenty of lovely watery places many frogs, toads and newts will be heading our way.
They have spent the winter in hedges, muddy ditches, under stones, plant pots or hunkered down under compost heaps. The rising temperature triggers the breeding season.
Frogs become increasingly active in garden ponds just before the migration begins, a sure sign that movement is imminent. I can hear frogs croaking and frolicking in my pond as I type this! If weather conditions are favourable (mild, damp evenings) the onset of migration is sudden. They will begin, en masse, to head to their breeding ponds.
They take the quickest route along ancestral pathways to the pond were they spawned. This often brings them into conflict with cars, cyclists and pedestrians.
Usually you can join Portishead Toad Patrol to help them cross the Village Quarter and The Vale safely. However this year, unfortunately COVID-19 has put paid to that but hopefully with less traffic during the lockdown they will be okay.
Winter birds are still here
The winter birds are still around so take a look at what you might expect to see on our Winter Birds page. They will be going back north to nest soon so see them while you still can!
. . . or maybe you will hear the beautiful warbling call of a curlew or two.