Simply put, Thursday was great. It rained almost 12 hours straight, dumping up to 250mm of rain on several parts of the Sunshine Coast and elsewhere – perfect opportunity to go frogging for Green thighed frogs (Litoria brevipalmata)! This species has evaded me for over a year since I’ve been seriously frogging, and only come out to call following torrential rainfall.
After recruiting Ken (who I’m extremely grateful to), and overhearing someone exclaiming “Is he mad?!” (referring to me), we headed up the highway to Pomona, in rainfall associated with cyclonic activity up north. On arrival, flood waters were rising nearby the spot I’d identified as good potential ‘brevi’ habitat (thanks to advice from fellow frogger, Ed Meyer). We pulled on our wet weather jackets, headlamps and began scouring the dry sclerophyll forest (which of course was quite wet and partly submerged). The Graceful treefrogs were in full chorus, as were a few other species. Several times I’m sure I heard the call of the brevi, but with no find. We moved away from the racket of the ‘common’ frogs, and eventually heard a lone Green thighed frog calling ‘somewhere in there’. This species often calls around ephemeral pools, free of fish, hence our search concentrated on looking for these pools. We soon identified the brevi was calling on the opposite side of a reasonable fast flowing water course (unusual), created from the burst creek bank nearby. After carefully navigating over the water on a fallen trunk, nothing was stopping me now!
With Ken’s help, I soon found my first ever brevi!
I was ecstatic! After taking a few photos, we headed back to the car. Whilst Ken was moving his AWD to the safer side of the rising flooded road, I took one last look closer to where we’d first drived past, and surprise, surprise, there was a chorus of brevis sitting on floating vegetation! By this time the constant rain had soaked my pants and was filling my gumboots, so stepping into knee deep water for better photos wasn’t of concern.
I’m very glad someone as mad as me joined me that night, as conditions were far from ‘easy going’! Finding the Green thighed frog marks 25 frog and toads species off my bucket list, with around another 10 frog species on the Coast left to find, before venturing further afield.