Flooded dunes

On Saturday I went over to the Merseyside coast with Carl Corbidge for our first visit to this area in 2012, as it looked like it might not actually rain this time. Oddly enough it turned out to be ‘too’ sunny for successfully locating Sand lizards (Lacerta agilis), but we did manage to spot one female along with two Viviparous lizards (Zootoca vivipara). Apparently this year has been a very poor one for the rare sand lizard, because of vast amounts of rain, but on the other hand it has been a great year for Natterjack toads (Bufo calamita). The dune ponds were all completely full, and filled with tadpoles which is a big contrast this time last year when not a single tadpole had time to develop. After a short while we found two Natterjacks along with a few Common frogs (Rana temporaria). Leaving this area in the afternoon we tried to find some adders at my local site but we had left it too late, too hot and nothing was found except some Common toads (Bufo bufo).

Female sand lizard (Lacerta agilis)

Natterjack toad (Bufo calamita)

Natterjack toad (Bufo calamita)

Natterjack toad (Bufo calamita)

Natterjack toad (Bufo calamita)

Natterjack toad (Bufo calamita)

Natterjack toad (Bufo calamita) second specimen

Breeding pond

Breeding pond

By Matt Wilson

2 comments on “Flooded dunes

  1. This update interests me a lot. I am currently searching for news on the state of the Natterjack Toad population accross Britain. There is currently a lot of news regarding the initial dry weather in early spring, but hardly anything regarding the extremely wet weather we’ve experienced lately. I am putting together a news article for a Newsletter for the Sand Dune and Shingle Network at Liverpool Hope University. I was wondering if you know where I can find more information and reports upon how the Natterjack toads are faring now the weather is a bit wetter.

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    • Hi Ffion
      I don’t know if you already know, but the Sefton Coast Rangers do a great deal of monitoring of the Natterjack populations on the Sefton Coast and they are probably the best people to contact, via Sefton Council.
      We know that they have certainly had their best year for quite a few years, but metamorphosis has been rather protracted due to the low water temperatures.
      Mike Brown (North Merseyside ARG)

      Like

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