Today I visited some ponds and streams in Yorkshire with Carl Corbidge and his daughter Sasha where there are introduced populations of the Alpine newt (Mesotriton alpestris). This species adapts well to the cool British climate as its natural range on the European continent, especially in the south, consists of cold, mountainous areas which are often covered with snow for many months of the year. Although in the north of France, the… Read More
After a successful day (see previous post), Carl and I headed for the coast in the early evening to a sand dune site where the rare Natterjack toad (Bufo calamita) can be found. Although I have seen many hundreds of Natterjacks in France and Spain I have never actually observed a specimen in the UK, where it is found at only 60 sites across the entire country and Ireland. We had been… Read More
Today I visited some areas of south Yorkshire and the Peak District with Carl Corbidge in search of some amphibians and reptiles. The last few weeks have been extremely wet, and I was hoping that a small break in the weather would bring out some species of reptile. First stop was a site where we have previously seen Grass snakes (Natrix natrix), no snakes this time despite ideal weather with breaks of… Read More
In August my Greek friend Ilias Strachinis from Thessaloniki (www.herpetofauna.gr, also see my trip report from Northern Greece), visited a tiny island of the north-west coast of Crete called Antikythera. Ilias had gone to a considerable amount of trouble to reach this fairly inaccessible island but finally arrived there by boat at Antikythera’s only town called Potamos, and where the majority of the 45 island inhabitants live. His reason for being there… Read More
My final trip of 2010 in October will be to the island of Menorca, with a specific target that I missed in Majorca: the Algerian false smooth snake (Macroprotodon cucullatus). After years of correspondence, I will finally be doing a trip together with Jeroen Speybroeck, Jan Van Der Voort and the Belgian HYLA team, as well as Dutch friend Bobby Bok and new Maltese friend Leonard Zammit. Although this trip is dedicated almost entirely to a single snake,… Read More
Well, its so special because it is the closest I have found a toad to my house 🙂 While the recent strong winds and heavy rain may be generally depressing, at least it has brought out the common amphibians in my village, this little chap was sitting in the middle of a small, country road surrounded by moorland.