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Garden slow worms

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Suzi View Drop Down
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    Posted: 04 Jul 2017 at 8:30pm
Been a while since I posted photos of my garden slow worms. I've not looked at most locations much this year as the covers have got very overgrown and the compost heap has got a huge clump of comfrey in the way of lifting the black plastic off. Anyway I decided to have a bit of a sort out...
These images show how hidden the Coroline covers had become...





Although I could just about lift the covers I couldn't do it in a slick enough fashion such that everything was still there as I juggled with the camera. There were plenty of slow worms under both covers and I managed a few shots. I took the covers off and cut back the grass and relaid them. I also managed to get the compost heap revealed and, again, plenty of slow worms to see. 
This evening I went to photograph a clump of young slowies that I know spend the night, or some of it, all huddled together. I've seen them as late as 10pm. There are never any older ones, just youngsters. This cover is the only one I have kept accessible and it must be about April or early May I last looked at the others. No toads seen yet under the covers, but they have been seen in an open compost heap.






Below the youngsters snuggled for the night.

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chubsta View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chubsta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jul 2017 at 10:43pm
Lovely photos, interesting that you say there are only ever youngsters and no adults - do you see the adults elsewhere in the garden at all or is it that the youngsters all migrate away as they mature? I guess given the number of youngsters that it is a safe environment in your garden for slow worms so it is unlikely that they get predated before reaching adulthood?

I must get a sheet put down at the end of my garden where everything is slowly getting overgrown, as i have had a slow worm in my hog feeder i guess there may be a few about, if nothing else they would be a welcome change to the hogs diets!
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Suzi View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suzi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jul 2017 at 11:55pm
Thanks Chubsta. I didn't explain very well...there are adults and youngsters under this cover in the daytime, but in the evening it is only ever these youngsters. I rarely see slow worms unless I look under the covers or in the compost heaps under the plastic sheets. 
Sadly there is predation...cats! I've seen them kill slow worms here. My garden provides some safety but cats do catch them sometimes, often as they cross mown grass  between gardens (many of the gardens just have wire or little in the way of divisions so it is easy for slow worms to move about).
If you put down a cover you will soon get slowies under it if they are in the area.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Iowarth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jul 2017 at 7:29pm
Lovely shots Suzi. Although I have masses of slow worms in my garden I seldom see them in such quantity - mind you, if I could find the time and energy to give the wilderness area a good chop and expose where my felts are (were?) I might do better. As you know, I have outdoor vivaria for sand lizards and the like and slow worm get into every one of them. Makes them feel very secure so they are often seen basking in the open.
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Suzi View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suzi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jul 2017 at 11:58am
I think Chris many people have slow worms in their gardens (if they are in an area of slow worms) but they never see them.
You could walk round my garden any day in their season and you'd be very lucky to see one. That is the nature of the beast of course, but it means they are often overlooked. I envy you seeing them openly basking.
I envy Gemma having common lizards in her garden, that I would like!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Iowarth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jul 2017 at 12:23pm
I quite agree Suzi. I find many local residents are astonished when I tell them that the whole area is teeming with 'em! Even more so that there are also grass snakes albeit much more rarely seen. I sometimes think it is a case of "none so blind as those that don't want to see" but frequently it is just a complete lack of awareness. We did have common lizards but they have slowly disappeared due, no doubt, to the high density of cats! What we seem to have recently acquired is a very small colony of wall lizards. An adult female appeared last year and obviously laid eggs. We saw four babies in mid-summer and three of them (now nearly mature) and their mother are still enjoying the garden and dodging the cats. They appear to be West Worthing animals (a fairly distinctive colony) and I am guessing that local kids took the 5 minute bike ride and caught one or two which escaped.
Escapees tend to find their way to my garden - attracted, I guess, by the smell or sounds of the wild and captive animals. Thus over the years I have had two King Snakes, a couple of yellow bellied toads amongth others - all species I have never kept before anyone leaps to the obvious and erroneous conclusion!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PDorman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Jul 2017 at 8:30pm
I moved 5 years ago into a basement flat opposite allotments.
Last yeat on a sunny day I was gardening and left foolishly my frontdoor open which is 7 steps down from groundlevel. To my horror I found a snake wriggling in my bedroom. My neighbours told me it was a slow worm and took it into their garden.
A week ago I found in front of my back door mini patio another brown young one which froze when I opened the door. It has been around for a few days. 
I am wondering did it fall on the patio? Did it climb down the ivy clad wall or slide down the 7 steps? Can it climb up? The patio is shaded and has a number of tubs with hostas along the walls. I've seen it hiding between tubs and walls, also climbing through the drainage grid or into the drain pipes.
It has no cosy sleeping place like chubsta's. The garden has ferocious neighbour's cats unfortunately but   positive is that there is a big old heap of brushwood and pruned off branches at the other end of the garden. It could wriggle into this heap of woodcuttings and be safe. I will look for a cover on the ground which might be preferable to the slow worm.Tongue
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suzi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jul 2017 at 12:18pm
Slow worms will happily live in walls if they can wiggle in via cracks. They will come out to bask and hunt. I know several people who have them living like this.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suzi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Aug 2017 at 8:18pm
Took these pix just after 8pm tonight. The solitary one is I think a newish youngster. The tangle of sub-adults were just a bit away under same cover.




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AGILIS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Aug 2017 at 4:53am
Hi Suzy you always have a good lot of garden sloworms for us.
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