07 July 2013 – cleaning up the Moss Frogs…
Having spent last night with our friends, Keir and Alouise Lynch, in Hermanus, we decided that this morning would be a good opportunity to try once again to find Drewes’s Moss Frog at Fernkloof Nature Reserve. It was a species that we still needed for our Western Cape challenge list and was also the last Moss Frog that we needed to complete the suite on our frog lifelist.
This species, described to science as recently as 1994, is restricted to just a few mountains around Hermanus where it inhabits moist seeps on the mountain slopes. It can be very tough to find, even although one hears them calling frequently and has resulted in much frustration (along with the other Moss Frog species) for us in the past.
After a good breakfast at a local restaurant, we decided to tackle the walk up the mountain with Keir and Alouise and their son, Cian, who often joins us on our forays into the field. Within 15 minutes of starting the climb, we were already starting to hear the frogs calling, but most of them seemed to be in fairly inaccessible places. After a reasonable walk, we eventually got to an area which was more accessible and then Keir hit luck and found one literally right next to the path! Almost an anti-climax for this tough species, but we were not going to complain. Young Cian was certainly excited about it too! Finally, Drewes’s Moss Frog in the bag! Nothing quite like setting out to find a target and actually finding it! Lots of photos later and we eventually began the walk back down and the long drive back home… with big smiles on our faces!