Saturday, 8 April 2017

Reptile Walk

We took a short walk along the shoreline to the west of our house the other day. It's always an interesting walk because, along with the wealth of marine life in the rock pools left by the falling tide, there are small puddles and ponds above the high-tide mark which make ideal homes for reptiles.

Within half an hour we met two toads making sure that there would be lots more toads later this year....

....found several pools filled with tadpoles, and.... rather shallow puddle which was home to three newts. In colouration, they're far prettier the on-line pictures of the three native British newt species, but they're probably a rare local variety of the common newt - perhaps Lissotriton vulgaris var Ormsaigbegis - which is tolerant of salt spray.

To have seen three species of reptile in such a short period of time would have been a joy but the walk was spoiled when I trod on the year's first sighting of a slow worm, neatly severing him into two almost equal parts, the....

....rear portion left writhing some distance behind the front portion. So, so sorry, slow worm - I do hope your front part survived and grows a splendid new tail.


  1. Poor Mr Toad; looks like he hasn't eaten in weeks. Perhaps procreation is the first thing on his mind after hibernation. Most other animals have to be and look the fittest to attract a mate. But toads clearly just have to be able to go for it!

  2. Newts: possibly Palmate Newt (Lissotriton helveticus) going by the hind feet.

  3. Thanks, Derryck. The newts could well be the palmate variety, perhaps Lissotriton helveticus var Ormsaigbegis. Jon