Saturday, March 29, 2014

Milton/Canton, MA 3/29/2014

Tonights' weather was heavy rain, and a cold 45 degrees. Perfect amphibian weather, terrible weather for keeping warm and dry. 

I decided to look for salamanders near the Neponset River Reservation. My goal was to find some blue spotted salamanders since there were rumored observations in the nearby area. I started the survey by walking along the edge of the wetland which was a tangled mess of vines and plants, after 15 minutes of this I intersected a paved road and decided to follow it. After a few minutes of walking up the road I bumped into a couple with a flashlight and umbrella walking in the rain in my direction, as it turns out they were also looking for salamanders! We decided to join forces and ended up finding three blue spotted salamanders, many spring peepers, a red backed salamander, and a dead four toed salamander that was most likely run over by a car.

The blue spotted salamanders at this site were extra small and difficult to see when they were crossing the road since they blend right in with the background. 

Photography became increasingly difficult with foggy camera lenses and numb freezing cold hands.  

All in all a success, one of the neighbors even gave me a ride back to my car. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Needham, MA 3/28/2014

Tonight was my first amphibian migration survey of 2014. I was hired to survey some properties owned by the Army Corps of Engineers. Today the temperature approached 60 degrees, it rained on and off all day and stayed warm at night. I went out in the woods from 8:30-11:30PM with a high power mountain biking flashlight and observed a steady migration of salamanders walking towards the surrounding wetlands and vernal pools. Here are the highlights in photos. I saw 14 spotted salamanders, 3 blue spotted salamanders, a spring peeper, and a red-backed salamander. 

Sure enough someone called the police when they saw my car parked in an unusual spot. I left my contact information on the dashboard of my car on ACOE letterhead. The police saw my phone number and called me while I was in the woods. The officer realized I was on official business and was just calling to ask what I was up to, after explaining he wished me luck. Moral of the story, always leave a note.