Monday, 24 August 2009

Eye of newt, and toe of frog,

Pam came across this Smooth or Common Newt while she was cleaning out one of the water features in the garden.

Common Newt (Triturus vulgaris)

It is a female and has probably recently left the breeding pond (hopefully one of my garden ponds).
Here you can see the orange belly with its back spots, much duller in the female than in the male. They hibernate from about mid-October to February or March, when they emerge and return to their ponds to breed.

Out of the breeding season they spend the day hiding under leaf litter or large stones. At night they hunt for insects and slugs.

Scorched Carpet (Ligdia adustata)

Pete and Nina arrived with two of our grandsons, Jack and Josh this afternoon and Jack, already a knowledgeable wildlife enthusiast found this Scorched Carpet on the kitchen window, an addition to the list fo the previous night. I'll have one or two helpers in the morning. Let's hope there's something special for them.

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