Even though it was quite dark, there were no signs of them moving, so we decided that we would try again Saturday night after a nice warm day and more rains. Once daylight arrived, we decided to bird for the morning and then head home to rest before going out again at dark.
In West Warren we came across this red fox out hunting. He or she probably had a den nearby and was looking for food for the mate or for the young kits.
So we headed home to sit out the afternoon and get psyched for going out again after dark. The temps were in the high 30's when we left about 7:15 so we decided to stay a bit closer to home rather than head back out to Warren. Also the rain wasn't too bad at this point, and since it was supposed to get much heavier (and I hate driving in the rain, especially at night) we decided to re-check the roads in closer to hom.
We had our first Wood Frog in Leicester on some back roads just north of Rt. 9 and as Mark helped him across the road I tried for a photo. Unfortunately I wasn't prepared for how quickly the frog would move once he warmed up from Mark's hands....so I missed the shot. But not to worry since once we got on some of the roads in the more unsettled areas we started to find more Wood Frogs. At once point we were both out of the car and picking up the frogs and placing them in the leaf litter at the side of they road they were heading towards.
We found our first dead salamander in the same area that 4 Wood Frogs were crossing, so we knew we had made the right choice to stay close to home.
As we were coming around a corner (very slowly) near a low swampy area, we both spotted two different salamanders crossing the road ahead....and they were Spotted Salamanders! As Mark went to rescue the one with the longest distance to go, I photographed the one closer to the edge of the road. They were quite cold and sluggish.
You cannot imagine how elated I felt after finding these Spotteds! I've never done a Big Night before and always wanted to. Even though it was totally tense making sure I didn't run any over while I was driving and hoping that I wouldn't see any run over, I can understand why people get psyched doing this. It was totally amazing to be out on this rainy spring night and help frogs and salamanders get to their breeding pools.
We ended up with just these two Spotted Salamanders, but we had close to 15-20 Wood Frogs. I think I smiled all the way home....even driving at night in the rain!