We’ve been trying to solve this mystery for about a week.
Last week, while we were busy laying the drainage to ensure our heavy clay soil can be used for anything other than very soggy lawn, my husband spotted a little creature behind our oil tank (the oil tank is for heating, if you’ve never come across this).
The first time he tried to approach, the creature fled through a gap in the bottom of the fence. All we saw was a flash of black then we heard this crashing and banging. For about a week, we wondered if it was a water rat or similar. My husband estimated from the noise it made that the visitor must have been this big (holding his hands apart so wide I was led to believe the mystery creature was about the size of a rabbit).
Fast-forward to yesterday, we were laying more drainage (between the downpours) and our little friend appeared again, looking a bit put out when we interrupted his lunch. Mystery solved: It was a huge black frog.
He just stood very still and waited for us to leave. This fellow has more neck than a giraffe, he didn’t even flinch when my husband stood inches away, moving some wood so he could get out through the fence.
Again, today, he made another appearance and I think he has decided to take up residence at the back of our garden. Probably because it’s so damp and soggy. Poor chap is going to be a bit put out when we drain all the land. We might have to put in a water feature for him (except we have to proceed with extreme caution re: water due to us having a toddler).
So here’s a picture of our mysterious intruder:
I was unsure whether this was a special species of frog native to Ireland, but when I looked it up, there wasn’t really any information about black-coloured frogs online, so I’m guessing it’s a common frog (in an uncommon colour). It’s definitely not a toad because it doesn’t have the warts, and anyway, the face is too pointy. Apparently, frogs can turn darker colours when they are cold, but that doesn’t make sense for this frog, because both times I’ve seen it, the temperature was between 18-22 degrees Celsius, which is quite warm (T-shirt weather).
Have you ever seen a frog in an interesting colour? Are these native to Ireland? Do we have a rare species of frog in our garden that’s never before been discovered? What a mystery!
Oh and on the topic of hilarious stories to do with land drainage, on the way back from Buncrana at the weekend, I saw a tourist pull into the side of the road and refill his drinking water bottle from the outlet pipe from a farm’s land drain! He threw his head back and chugged it. Eurrrrrgh! He was drinking cow poo! If you’re on holiday in a rural area, please don’t do this, you could get dysentery or all sorts. If it comes out of a big pipe and lands in a grid or river, it’s NOT a natural stream of drinking water.
You may also like to know about our beautiful butterfly visitor!