If you were driving through Burry Port this evening and spotted two strange looking people crouched at the side of the road in the fog you need not worry. They were not a couple of escaped lunatics (we definitely hadn’t escaped at any rate), but were in fact helping the Toad above and his comrades cross a strip of tarmac that mankind has thoughtlessly lain right across their centuries old migration route. On the other side lies a breeding pool and its associated joys, but to get there means scaling two mountainous kerbs and dodging traffic that bears little regard for what passes beneath its wheels.
Regular readers will recall that on almost exactly the same date last year we carried upwards of thirty Toads across the road to safety in conditions not dissimilar to those we were experiencing tonight. In truth I hadn’t realised it was that time of year again already, but after spotting several near Penclawdd and Scurlage on Gower we headed over to Burry Port to check on proceedings. Although numbers were lower than last time a couple had already succumbed to the traffic, so we quickly set about moving the six or so that we could see across the road and out of harms way. As before the kerb to leave the road seemed to be the major stumbling block with most of the Toads left to sit against it, and in some cases start the mating early.
In no time at all they were scooped up and deposited on the grass where they should hopefully have a much better chance of making it to the pond. For anyone who has never touched a Toad before I can assure you that they are as slimy as they look and feel distinctly strange in the hand. One even squeaked at me which was definitely a noise I was not expecting to emanate from a Toad.
The only reason we know of this location is from a news article that I read last year mentioning that the local council were going to erect a sign to warn motorists of the Toads presence. Unfortunately the item seemed rather premature as there was no sign in place then, something which has thankfully been rectified now and will hopefully cause others to drive a little more cautiously past the site in future.