Calling it a day.

I visited my adder site last week to find that all of the snakes, males as well as females were nowhere to be seen despite the sunny weather and temperatures they would easily tolerate in early spring. A clear indication that the active season for the snakes has come to an end, although some adders further south are still showing themselves. A morning walk today allowed me to test out my new camera on what will likely be my last local herp of the season, a common toad (Bufo bufo) 🙂

I have some great field trips to look for to next year as well as spending Christmas on the Canary islands catching up with the island’s endemic lizard species.

Common toad (Bufo bufo)

Common toad (Bufo bufo)

By Matt Wilson

France and Belgium visit

Typical forested area for Fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra) on mainland Europe. (C) Matt Wilson

Typical forested area for Fire salamanders (Salamandra salamandra) on mainland Europe. (C) Matt Wilson

I’ve spent the past week on a French exchange with pupils from my school. Being back in France brought back many memories of when I used to study at the University of Perpignan in the south of France. This time we visited many areas of northern France and southern Belgium. I had one afternoon off to go and do some exploring, including spending a few hours in a forested area close to the farm that belongs to a friend. Here I was able to see a few herps such as Common wall lizard (Podarcis muralis), Grass snake (Natrix natrix), Common frog (Rana temporaria), Common toad (Bufo bufo) and Pool frog (Pelophylax lessonae). However, I was mostly searching the woods in the hope of finding a Fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra) but due to the fact that they are not common in this area and that it was quite dry I wasn’t able to find one this time. Around Amiens there is a large wetland area that passes through the city and is connected via canals and waterways. I was pleased to have a guided tour and learn of the abundance of grass snakes and amphibians in the urbanised area of northern France.

Fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra) photographed during a previous visit to France (C) Matt Wilson

Fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra) photographed during a previous visit (C) Matt Wilson

By Matt Wilson