As winter draws on I begin to wonder whether the frogs will ever leave their overwintering locations and begin breeding. The literature suggests that common frogs need to experience a day at 5oC before their active season begins and they immediately head off to their breeding pools. As can be seen in these photos taken in the cairngorms a week or so ago, it certainly isn’t springtime in the mountains yet! It’s hard to believe that the frogs that live here must be somewhere below all this snow, buried in the ground or at the bottom of frozen pools. Common frogs are thought to withstand repeat freezing but not prolonged freezing, so we will have to wait and see how they have survived during this especially harsh winter. Spawning is already 3 weeks late for the low elevation frogs compared last year. This contrasts with the trend over the last decade of progressively earlier breeding. So I’m crossing my fingers for some warmer weather and looking forward to beginning my fieldwork.

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