Name: Common Toad
Scientific name: Bufo bufo
Nature Stars: 30
About: Toads are amphibians, breeding in ponds during the spring and spending much of the rest of the year feeding on dry land, in woodland, gardens, hedgerows and tussocky grassland. Common Toads breed in larger, deeper ponds than Common Frogs. They are famous for their mass migrations back to their breeding ponds on the first warm, damp evenings of the year, often around St Valentine's Day. Toads lay their eggs in long strings of spawn, wrapped around aquatic plants.
How to identify: Brown and warty, with short back legs. Walks rather than hops.
Where: Widespread and common across the country. Found almost everywhere, except for Scottish Islands, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, the Isles of Scilly and most of the Channel Islands.
Fantastic fact: Toads lay their eggs in 'strings' rather than 'clumps' of spawn.
Photograph credit: Philip Precey