Field day: 18th September

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 sun through the clouds and little wind. However, on turning some logs and other debris we found two Great crested newts (Triturus cristatus).

Great crested newt (Triturus cristatus)

Great crested newt (Triturus cristatus)

After these nice finds we decided that the weather was quite favorable for reptiles so we moved onto an area of moorland which is good place in the springtime to find Adders (Vipera berus). Within five minutes we found a male specimen basking at the base of some bracken, but shortly afterwards the dark clouds and wind came along so this was the only adder we could find.

Adder (Vipera berus)

Adder (Vipera berus)

Adder (Vipera berus)

One species that does not require specific weather conditions in the summer and autumn is the Slow-worm (Anguis fragilis), and driving further south we stopped at a nice area for the species. Turning some more debris and rocks we found six specimens, including a gravid female and a newly born animal. In addition Carl found an unusually coloured Common toad (Bufo bufo) under a piece of rubbish.

Newborn Slow-worm (Anguis fragilis)

Newborn Slow-worm (Anguis fragilis)

Slow-worm (Anguis fragilis)

Slow-worm (Anguis fragilis)

Slow-worm (Anguis fragilis)

Slow-worm (Anguis fragilis)

By Matt Wilson

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