Last night on the way home from a board meeting, I noted that the light rain and temperatures were just within the range required to kick off the first wave of migrating amphibians. By the time I pulled into Canaan I started to see wood frogs by the roadway, so I rousted my children from bed, stuffed pajamas into boots and jackets and rounded up three functional flashlights. We headed over to a bend in Rte 41 near Dutcher’s Bridge where judging by the carnage I have observed there in past years, there is a major migration corridor. There were a few frogs there, nothing spectacular, but once over in Salisbury I saw numerous frogs and heard the first chorus of Spring Peepers coming from a nearby oxbow of the Housatonic.
I checked one of my favorite spots for salamanders on Taconic Rd but saw only a frog or two. However, the big salamander crossings in Sheffield, MA on Rte 41 showed evidence that the yellow spotted salamanders were beginning to move. We escorted a handful across the highway between Sages Ravine and Berkshire School Road, but it was on this latter route, running East / West across Sheffield’s extensive seepage wetlands, that we observed them moving in significant numbers. We found many more living than dead, perhaps 40 in all, which is not as many as we find in really big nights. The temperature was 42 and perhaps more began to move later in the night for I found the thermometer was nearly 50 when I awoke this morning.