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Natterjacks in Cumbria

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calumma View Drop Down
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    Posted: 14 Aug 2005 at 8:53am
While on holiday in the Lake District I managed to visit a couple of
natterjack sites. Wrong time of year to see animals, but I was keen on
getting photos of some contrasting habitats. Although I am familiar with
many of the Cumbrian sites, I have never visited a certain atypical site in
the hills above Coniston.

Thought folks may be interested in seeing a photo of natterjack habitat
that is neither lowland heath nor sand dune.



There are a number of seasonal pools in the area that appear to offer
good opportunities for natterjacks. The pool in the photo is likely to
support breeding common toads - a year old juvenile and a new
metamorph were observed nearby. I also found a couple of adult slow-
worms. My first reptile observations in NW England - despite growing up
in Manchester!

Edited by calumma
Lee Brady

Kent Herpetofauna Recorder | Independent Ecological Consultant



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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: 14 Aug 2005 at 2:19pm

Lee,

Must say I had never heard of this Coniston Natterjack site - only the one on the coast at Millom (spelt right?) called The Lots. How interesting to hear of this site.

Where I lived  we only had common frog and toads.I have written elsewhere about the reptiles in the area but perhaps I might mention it again.

I lived on the west side of Lake Windermere (1961-1970) and there were lots of grass snakes in the whole area - right across to Coniston where the habitat was suitable - a lot of big ones too. We had slow worms, common lizards and adders too. The area is still relatively undisturbed and I'm sure not a lot has changed.

Suz
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calumma View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote calumma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Aug 2005 at 2:43pm
Suzi

Millom is quite correct. The last time I looked for natterjacks there though I
only found a single spawn string that had gone bad. There are actually
several coastal sites, one of which is quite breathtaking as you look across
the dunes towards the fells.

The 'Coniston' site is in the fells to the SW of Coniston Water. It is quite well
known in herp circles and is a good example of why it is important to take
local knowledge seriously.

Check out my blog for more info.
Lee Brady

Kent Herpetofauna Recorder | Independent Ecological Consultant



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calumma View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote calumma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 2005 at 9:59am
Altitude is approx 150 m.
Lee Brady

Kent Herpetofauna Recorder | Independent Ecological Consultant



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Brian View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Brian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Mar 2009 at 4:29pm

I'm coming rather late to this discussion. Yes the upland site you refer to is a fascinating one, and whilst it has nothing in common with dune and slatmarsh sites it does have some features in common with the southern heaths, particularly the water bodies which are strongly reminiscent of the sort of bog pools you get at sites like Thursley Common in Surrey (a former natter' site). I have thought for ages that a little more study of this site might help illuminate how natterjacks might have survived on these heathland sites in the past.

The site has all three newts as well as common frog and toad.

BB
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dave1812 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jul 2009 at 1:35pm
Just an update on the site that I'm currently monitoring on the Cumbrian coast - so far we have had several strings develop and emerge. Since this is my first year of monitoring I'm very happy with the state of events. 
David Hind

D&G ARG
ARC - Natterjack Toad Monitor
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