May was all about newts!

Newts are really spiffing little animals, but surveying for them can sometimes be an adventure involving rather too much barbed wire, limbo-ing under fences, climbing over trees and through nettles!  This year’s crop of ponds have been mostly quite civilised, though, including one set with a convenient pub nearby 🙂

I’m licensed to survey for great crested newts in both England and Wales and this year I’ve surveyed at three sites in Lancashire, Greater Manchester and North Wales.  I’ve been lucky enough to see all five widespread British amphibian species at these sites (common toad, common frog, smooth newt, palmate newt and great crested newt).  As I’ve also participated in natterjack toad surveys, that means I would only need to tick pool frog to have seen the entire amphibian fauna of the UK.  I have no plans to visit Norfolk in the next few months though – too busy!It’s been especially nice to see loads of palmate newts, as generally speaking these are rather less common in the lowlands than the protected great crested newt.  Here’s a female palmate newt looking mini compared to a female crestie:

Great crested and palmate newts photographed by Rosalind King

Great crested and palmate newts photographed by Rosalind King

I’ve also assisted with pitfall trapping and translocation of great crested newts at a fourth site in Lancashire which is due to start construction soon.

I also assisted with several bat surveys in May so all in all it was a packed month 🙂

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