The call of a Fowlers Toad is similar to the call of the larger American Toad, but lower pitched and of shorter duration. The American Toad makes a long, high trill that goes on and on for over ten seconds, but the Fowlers Toad's call, though also a trill, is rather like a bray. Some say it sounds like the cry of a baby.
All of the tracks head east toward the sound of the breeding chorus, and several Fowlers Toads hop along the wet sand within reach of the calmly
lapping lake. As we near the source of the braying and trilling (there is at least one American Toad calling as well) the black shadows of low rocks along the shore ahead are broken by patches of water reflecting the night sky. Then the sand gives way to pitted limestone, patched with mosses and drifted with the bleached shells of Zebra Mussels, and then we come to the first of the shallow pools.
I have seen many of these little toads over the past week - tracking them over soft sand, finding them at the water's edge, and even watching one bury itself. They are brisk little toads on the sand, but so spunky in their breeding pools, so focused on calling that they don't notice my approach, even to within 30 centimeters. I took several photos and short videos by flashlight. Here is the shortest one.