The warm weather this month is keeping reptiles active. Our garden in Northiam was graced by an adult grass snake and a juvenile slow-worm, basking under pieces of warm roof felt. Also under one of these was a tiny palmate newt eft, chancing its luck somewhat with the snake closeby! This animal had a faint orange-brown stripe all the way down its back and tail, whereas in the smooth newt there is a short stripe starting on the top of the head and petering out above the fore-limbs.
The recent run of wet weather should help this animal to forage and put on weight before the winter draws on. In dry weather these animals tend to be confined to any refuge that retains some moisture. Under 25mm long it’s amazing to think that in 18 months time this could be an adult returning to our pond to breed, if it manages to avoid the grass snake!