Two years in a row while monitoring birds in the Bristol Cliffs Wilderness I have had enjoyable close encounters with Spring Peeper frogs. Last year, bushwhacking through some vegetation, I suddenly noticed one sitting on my binoculars and this year I managed to catch one hopping away from me on a trail. It’s not at all surprising to find them in this location as they are a very common species and the wet, rich woods of this area is a good place to find them. However, fun as they were, both of these encounters were a little disappointing to me because each time I found these Peepers a few hundred meters east of the Border of Bristol in the town of Lincoln.

You see, Spring Peeper is one of the common species in need of documentation in the town of Bristol for the Vermont Reptile and Amphibian Atlas. In this case, the Atlas has reports of the species from Bristol but is in need of a photo for documentation purposes. I know this because of a new feature on the Atlas website, a searchable table of undocumented species that can be filtered by county, town, species, report status, and likelihood of a species at a location. This makes it very easy for you to help out. Just filter the table by your town or any other place in Vermont you frequent. You might already have a picture of a needed species, or know right where you can go to find one. And this is a great time to go looking as many frogs, salamanders, snakes and turtles are at their peak of activity. Once you have a picture of a needed species you can follow the Atlas website’s instructions for submitting a report, or alternatively, you can post your observation to their partners at the Vermont Atlas of Life.

I’ll be out at Bristol Cliffs Wilderness again later this month and hopefully I’ll be able to find a Peeper to submit from Bristol this time.

– Ron Payne

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