Herp Update: Fall migration activity, successful concert, spring salamander search—November 10, 2022
Upcoming Herp Activity tomorrow night, Friday, November 11
Herpers, I know that many of you have been out during the spring on a “big night” when many amphibians are moving from overwintering habitat to breeding or foraging habitat. Awareness of spring migration of amphibians has taken off now to the point where you will often run into a small crew of herpers helping amphibians across the roads at many crossing locations in the spring.
However, very few people are aware of, or get out to see, or help with fall migration. Most Wood Frogs & Spotted Salamanders move back uphill only a few weeks after they lay their eggs in the spring. Yet, many Blue-spotted Salamanders, Four-toed Salamanders, and Eastern Red-backed Salamanders stay near the wetlands all summer and do not move back uphill until warm wet nights in the fall.
For example, Brian Carter checked Morgan Road in Salisbury on October 21 back in 2016, and in 40 minutes saw 18 Blue-spotteds, 33 Eastern Red-backed Salamanders, and 21 Four-toed Salamanders moving uphill across the road.
On November 1, back in 2022, I found 4 Blue-spotteds, 45 Eastern Red-backeds, 11 Four-toeds, and 1 Wood Frog moving across Morgan Road to overwintering locations.
On November 26, in 2018, Cindy Sprague and Kate Kelly reported 27 Blue-spotteds, 5 Eastern Red-backeds, 1 Four-toed, 1 Spring Peeper, and 4 Wood Frogs on North Street in New Haven.
On December 21 in 2018, Kate, Molly, and Abby Kelly along with Erin Talmage reported 4 Blue-spotteds, 5 Eastern Red-backeds, 2 Four-toeds, two Spring Peepers, and even a Gray Treefrog on the road on North Street in New Haven. This was over the period of about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
The forecast is excellent for amphibian migration tomorrow night (Friday) with rain beginning mid-afternoon and temperatures in the 60’s! So, I am hoping that some of you will get out to an amphibian crossing area near you. Be safe! Wear bright or reflective clothing, carry strong flashlights, and watch for traffic.
Please do report what you see. We may be able to fill in some data gaps for some of these species. Remember, even if you are not sure of the species, take a few photos, send them to us, and we can figure out what they were for you.
Patti Casey and Colin McCaffrey Fundraising Concert was a great success
The Patti Casey and Colin McCaffrey fundraising concert that was rescheduled for Saturday, October 29 in Salisbury was a great success. We sold 106 tickets (as well as hats, bumper stickers, magnets, prints, and posters) and raised about $2,500 dollars. Patti and Colin put on a great show and even sold a few CDs. Thanks to Patti and Colin for volunteering their time and talents. Also thanks to Kate, Abby, and Molly Kelly, and Erin Talmage for helping out and special thanks to all you who bought tickets.0
Another artist has contacted us regarding donating his talents. So, be on the lookout for another concert fundraiser next fall.
Other Herp Activity: Spring Salmanders
Matt, Kate, and I have continued to search for Spring Salamanders in towns where they have not previously been documented or where reports needed to be updated. We were unsuccessful in Bradford, Calais, Marshfield, Newbury, Plainfield, and Waterbury, but succeeded in Berlin and Northfield.
I have attached a couple photos of Spring Salamanders. They are impressive. The first photo is of an adult and was taken by Rich Kirn. The second photo shows the head and external gills of a larva in water. I don’t know who originally took the second photo.