Toad in the Bowl

A common toad cools off in Carew's water bowl

With the heatwave we're experiencing in the UK at the moment, it came as quite a surprise to find a common toad swimming around in Carew's water bowl first thing this morning.

A common toad swimming in a stainless steel dog bowl
Toad in the bowl - a common toad cooling off in Carew's water bowl

The bowl has steep sides, and the surrounding grass was wet, suggesting the poor creature had been struggling to get out, so after splashing a lot more water over the surrounding undergrowth in an attempt to make its liberation a little more comfortable I was pleased to give the toad its freedom.

My suspicion that the toad was probably exhausted seemed to be born out when it crawled a short distance into the undergrowth and then stayed still for several minutes before crawling out of sight.

Clearly, the toad had climbed into the bowl. I can't see any realistic way that it could have found its way into there by chance, so how did it know there was water in the bowl? Can toads smell water? I'm aware that toads spend a lot of time out of water but you can't help wondering how they cope with the very dry and hot conditions that prevail at the moment. Ditches and many ponds are completely dry, so where do they get a drink of water when they need one?

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