Monday, 29 March 2010

The Differently Spotted Newt

I was working in the lobby at Blashford for a time today, these days with the screen and "pondcam" this in no way prohibits seeing wildlife. The on-screen highlights were a Water Stick Insect, actually a type of aquatic bug and lots of newts, including at least one male Palmate Newt. These differ from the Smooth Newts in having only a very slight crest and more discrete spotting, the tail often with two neat rows of spots and naturally they have palmations. Actually it is only the hind feet that are palmate, or webbed, unlike the paddle-like toes of the Smooth Newt. I will try to capture an image or a video clip, when I have understood how to work the technology.

Today also saw the first Blackcap of the year, a male singing beside the entrance track to the Centre but I could not find the Willow Warbler reported yesterday. On Ibsley Water the Little Ringed and Ringed Plover were still there as were two Black-necked Grebe. A Lapwing is now sitting tight on the shingle to the east of the Tern hide and up to three more pairs are looking like they are settling in nearby. Other birds included at least one Swallow, several Sand Martins digging nest holes and a good number of singing Chiffchaffs.

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