Archive for March 12th, 2010

12th March 2010, Friday

A most unusual newt

I have found what may be a very rare hybrid between the smooth and palmate newt in our garden pond at Northiam.  I am aware of only three confirmed and one possible  specimen found in the UK to date, with two others reported in France and the Netherlands.

From above the animal, a male, looks rather like a male smooth newt, brown with numerous dark blotches but with the more square profile found in the palmate newt, and the tail colouration is very palmate newt – like, with a pale blue margin along the base of the tail, and a central pale brown strip, bordered above by a row of dark spots, with one or two below.  The tip of the tail was developing a rather coarse tail filament a few days after this picture was taken.

Seen from below, however, Read the rest of this entry »

12th March 2010, Friday

Beach Reserve

At last a fine and warm (ish) early morning which has encouraged the return of  Black-headed and Mediterranean Gulls to Ternery Pool, a solitary Sandwich Tern was also present. Additional highlights included a Great Skua and at least 13 Red-throated Diver lingering offshore out from Crittall Hide.