I have just had probably one of my most traumatic, exciting, fulfilling and exhilarating wildlife experiences ever.

A few weeks ago the local press reported that Toad crossing signs were going to be placed on the B4311 in Burry Port (which still haven’t appeared incidentally), where each year the local population of Toads has to migrate across a busy road to get to their traditional breeding ponds. Having never seen a Toad before this captured my interest so for the past few weeks I have been making regular visits in the hope of catching a sighting. Click here for a map of the exact location. Until tonight I hadn’t seen a single one but boy has that just changed.

Driving along at about ten o’clock this evening I suddenly had to slam the breaks on as the road was covered in Toads for a good 300m stretch. I quickly popped the hazard lights on and got out to take a photo while no other cars were about. It was only then that I realised how many had already met a sad end under the wheels of less careful motorists. The carnage was almost too hard to bare so I set about doing what I could to save those that still had a chance.

23924 - Toad, Burry Port

Many were simply sat in the middle of the road motionless with no clear idea of where to head next.

23916 - Toad, Burry Port

On the opposite side of the road from where they had started the problem was clear to see. Although they could jump down onto the tarmac without a problem the kerb they needed to climb to reach safety was proving too much of a challenge. Many were aimlessly hopping along the edge whilst others had simply given up and were getting on with mating where they were.

23918 - Toad, Burry Port

In all I must have carried about thirty across the road which was all of the live ones that we could find. They were surprisingly slimy but were very calm and apart from a few remained very still as they were picked up. Indeed some didn’t seem to want to let go at all.

23921 - Toad, Burry Port

It took a good hour to get everyone to safety but I fear there will be more casualties over the coming week. We are going back tomorrow evening to see if we can help any others and would encourage everyone to be vigilant when driving at night, particularly during this damp and warm weather.


holdingmoments · February 25, 2011 at 7:19 pm

Such a shame that so many met a sad end Adam, but at least you stopped to try and help.
Must have been quite a sight to see so many toads.

Sondra · February 26, 2011 at 2:11 am

What a wonderful thing you did!! Its amazing how nature can touch us and we can touch nature-and we all come away the better for it!

J · February 27, 2011 at 11:37 pm

Well done on helping the Toads, Dr. Snuggles! I've heard of something similar at Landrindod Wells Lake, where locals gather in the spring with buckets to carry the Toads across the road to the lake.

Adam Tilt · February 28, 2011 at 10:10 am

Thanks everyone for your comments. Hopefully I've helped to boost the population a bit this year.

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