Taking friends frogging for the first time is really quite exciting. There can be such a sense of wonder and amazement that something making such a loud noise is actually quite a small beast. This is particularly apparent in the case of the Crinia froglets as my friend Dena, found last night. We had realised earlier in the week that while we’d indulged in Dena’s birding passion a few times, spotting superb parrots in Chiltern National Park and freckled ducks at Wonga Wetlands, I had yet to show her any frogs up close. Luckily, we both work at the Charles Sturt University in Albury which has a very handy, frog-friendly wetland complex located on campus. Due to the recent rainfall, frog calling activity as rife, with spotted marsh frogs (Limnodynastes tasmaniensis) and the eastern sign-bearing froglet (Crinia parinsignifera) dominating the airwaves, and a quieter undercurrent of southern brown tree frogs (Litoria ewingi) and the federally threatened Sloane’s froglet (Crinia sloanei).
I love getting to show people what the frogs they’ve been hearing actually look like that, to put a frog-face to the noise. It’s like a whole new world is revealed. I firmly believe that people care more about things they have seen and know about. So while for me this is a common little frog that I’ve seen and heard a hundred times, for others it’s a pathway to a whole new appreciation of some pretty awesome native fauna.
Once it was dark enough that Dena stopped focusing on the birds and concentrated on the frogs, we hunted down three species including the adorable Sloane’s froglet. I count it as a successful first frogging outing for her. We’re hoping for a bit of rain and warmer temperatures in the next few weeks, so we can tick some more critters off Dena’s new frog-list.
Speaking of exposing people to how awesome frogs are, it seems they are a popular theme for baby-things. My sister has been bombarded with frog-themed clothes and things for new brand-new little man, including this one-piece with hat, and none of it has been from me! We’re not sure if people are transferring my association with frogs to my sister or there is just a lot of frog-focussed paraphernalia for the newly-born. Either way, I don’t think it is a bad thing.