18 February, 2010

Wagtails and a frog

We have frogs. I said FROGS!! There are enchanting little clicking reed frogs, usually start up around 4 in the afternoon. A gentle little murmur in the background, very soothing and reassuring. The woodwinds. Sadly we only see them when Chocolat has found them, and I don't like to post sad pictures of the (walking) wounded. If you have a cat … you can fill in the dots for yourself.

Then after dark the real frogs get chirruping. A little louder, but still a restful noise, a lulling lullaby. The string quartet. We do like our frogs. A good noise, the sound of the sea rolling peacefully in, and out, or a river flowing by.

This frog was photographed at night 

We think it is the Cape River Frog - Amietia fuscigula. Passmore and Carruthers in S A Frogs say - 'In large still bodies of water. Males usually call from deep water, supporting themselves on floating vegetation'.

But we also have something the Afrikaans calls a brulpadda and we call a raucous toad. And lives up to every nuance of his name. The cannon shots of the 1812 Overture. We have seen one sitting just outside our bedroom window, where he can make full use of the resounding echo reverberating off the walls and the rainwater tank. Bit like trying to sleep while a toddler bangs pot lids together, just  NEXT  TO  YOUR  EAR!!!  In May we will have been in this house 3 years, and this is the first time the frogs have been  DEAFENING.  In desperation, we sometimes have to close one window. But the heavy metal, rock concerts are reserved for full moon nights. We did want the wildlife to be friendly, and use the pond to survive and thrive.

The Ungardener is attached to his new camera. Sweating blood at first, because it wouldn't focus. (Watch this space, day by day, the pictures are coming together. From - WHY won't it FOCUS to …)


Wagtails and a Cape Laughing Dove with Canon 130 mm zoom

The wagtails came. First a pair who were here each evening. Then a youngster, who later came alone, with a limp, and has subsequently not been seen. This was the best we could achieve with the Canon and a simple zoom.

Wagtail with Fuji 400 mm zoom

The other evening I saw the parents again, coming for their usual evening bathe. And called the Ungardener to try out the new zoom on the Fuji.

Wagtails two

Then called him again, for now there were FOUR! I think it might have been the first time the youngsters came to the beach. First I heard much lively chattering, then went to see what all the excitement was about?!

Wagtail kids at the beach!

new sign 300

Photos by Jurg,
and words by Diana of Elephant's Eye


  1. LOL, EE, I too have been searching out my favorite Blotanical reads and adding them to my blogroll. (I just added yours!)

    Love the photos of the frogs. I too get very excited about frogs in the garden! I don't have a cat, but my pup (a dachshund) loves to eat frogs and becomes deathly ill. We have to watch her closely in the garden.

  2. Hi Diana! Your frog is wearing a trendy animal print outfit. I like it. I

  3. I love frogs, but I know what you mean about them being deafening at times! Living out in the country, at night the same thing happens here...

  4. Cyndy, Floridagirl, Tatyana, Kyna - I'm so glad to know there are still Blotanists out there, even if Blotanical has vanished off the face of the earth. Please, come back.

  5. Dear Diana, You are clearly surrounded with wild life which, although a litlle annoying at times, is so very wonderful. I cannot imagine what it must be like to go to bed to the sound of the croaking frogs. Just occasionally a single, tiny silent frog appears in the garden. I know not where from.

  6. Diana, The frogs we are most likely to hear here are tree frogs known as "peepers." They have a high-pitched peep that sounds a lot like crickets chirping. A whole chorus of them can get quite loud though. The mother of a family who have a screened-in porch converted into a summer bedroom for their children told me that one of her little girls once called to her in the night and said, "Mommy, I can't get to sleep; could you turn down the peepers?"

    Following your lead, I have been setting up my Google Reader subscription list today. What I'm finding works best for me is to let Google Reader identify the new posts for me, but then click on the link to get the full blog to open in another window.


Photographs and Copyright

Photographs are from Diana Studer or Jurg Studer.
My Canon PowerShot A490

If I use your images or information, it will be clearly acknowledged with either a link to the website, or details of the book. If you use my images or words, I expect you to acknowledge them in turn.

Midnight in Darkest Africa

Midnight in Darkest Africa
For real time, click on the map.