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2018 Slow Worms

Printed From: Reptiles and Amphibians of the UK
Category: Herpetofauna Native to the UK
Forum Name: Slow Worm
Forum Description: Forum for all issues concerning Anguis fragilis
URL: http://www.herpetofauna.co.uk/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=5198
Printed Date: 26 May 2019 at 12:47pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 11.06 - http://www.webwizforums.com


Topic: 2018 Slow Worms
Posted By: Suzi
Subject: 2018 Slow Worms
Date Posted: 12 Mar 2018 at 12:19pm
Was nicely surprised this morning about 11.30 to find slow worms out basking under plastic in a compost bin. I'd already checked the covers (none) and the sun was just out briefly, now gone. I'd been checking for their appearance over recent days, so I think this is more or less their first outing. I was so surprised to see them that I hadn't got my camera so I went and got it and left them ten minutes or so before peeling back the plastic again. I think there were ten initially, so maybe a few had gone when I returned.





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Suz



Replies:
Posted By: GemmaJF
Date Posted: 12 Mar 2018 at 2:31pm
That's cheered me up Suz, very drizzly and rather cool here today, but hopefully not long now before our reptiles get active in the garden again.


Posted By: chubsta
Date Posted: 12 Mar 2018 at 8:36pm
Lovely, and certainly fat looking so have done well over Winter, hopefully the cold weather on the way again won't affect them at all, I guess they would just burrow down again?


Posted By: will
Date Posted: 13 Mar 2018 at 8:37am
lovely selection of males there, Suzi!  I wonder if the brown spots on the larger ones go blue after a slough or if they stay brown?  I've noticed that the blue spots on 'blue-spotted slowworms' often go brown if the animal hasn't sloughed for a while.  If so, you could have a crop of beauties later in the springSmile


Posted By: Liz Heard
Date Posted: 13 Mar 2018 at 9:00pm
Fantastic Suzi - you beat me there. I've been turning sun-warmed objects over on likely days but still drawing a blank so far.

Great to see.


Posted By: Iowarth
Date Posted: 15 Mar 2018 at 9:31pm
Hi Suz
Totally different subject. I had an email today (a few minutes ago) suggesting that you had requested your password (i.e. forgot password.) The reason I am writing is that the automatic email giving you a new password was returned undelivered "Mailbox unavailable".
Since the system will have changed your password, would you please drop me a line at admin@herpetofauna.co. uk so I can advise you of the new password.
All the best
Chris


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Chris Davis, Site Administrator

Co-ordinator, Sand Lizard Captive Breeding Programme (RETIRED)


Posted By: Tom Omlette
Date Posted: 16 Mar 2018 at 10:03pm
wow they look healthy! don't get to see them locally. maybe my favourite reptile :)



Posted By: Suzy
Date Posted: 17 Mar 2018 at 1:19am
Yesterday saw my first young one. Normally see young of the previous year before any adults. Not so this year, but that might be because I moved all the covers in February as they were getting overgrown. 

Only when I downloaded the image to edit that I noticed a second one!

Mild day up to 14deg C this afternoon. Pipistrelles out this evening.




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Suz


Posted By: Liz Heard
Date Posted: 17 Mar 2018 at 10:11am
Great to see Suzi.

And Will, yes i spotted that red frog too and was hoping to get a pic of her but i've missed my chance. It's all over here now. There are a handful of ever-the-optimist males still hanging around but that's it.


Posted By: Suzy
Date Posted: 28 Aug 2018 at 3:00pm
Just an update on slow worms, showing new young ones. 




What looks like fine sand is the work of ants under this cover. Slow worms seem to like to lie on ant worked ground - do they hoover up the ants?


This cover is a new one as I am replacing all my Coroline ones this time. It was only in place for two days and slow worms appeared. 


Went to move a large quarry tile that was sat on the veg garden when to my surprise there was a mid sized toad underneath it. The tile has been sat there all summer. The toad was furiously digging itself in backwards as I looked at it, so I carefully replaced the tile. I think that is the first toad I've seen this year, certainly this summer. 
Put in a very small preform pond a few weeks ago and there was a large frog in it the other day, so hopefully the pond got some approval. I hope it will appeal to frogs for spawning in spring. 


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Suz


Posted By: chubsta
Date Posted: 28 Aug 2018 at 10:59pm
So many slow worms! I wonder what the survival rate is is a garden?



Posted By: Suzy
Date Posted: 28 Aug 2018 at 11:56pm
I don't know Chubsta. My neighbour found a dead one on her lawn yesterday, very likely killed by one the the many cats that live in the neighbourhood. I  do see some slow worms under the covers with missing tails, so something must have had a go at them. There are a lot of places they can retreat to, both natural and introduced by humans. Compost heaps really are great homes for them but I realise they go out in the open at times. I think it's been said on here before that you can have them in your garden and not realise, until you find one underneath something.  

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Suz


Posted By: Tom Omlette
Date Posted: 31 Aug 2018 at 12:19am
never get tired of seeing your slowie update pics suz Heart


Posted By: Liz Heard
Date Posted: 31 Aug 2018 at 11:41pm
Me neither.

I'm really grateful to my parents that after years of me groaning about their grass maintenance policy, they have finally relented and adopted a more relaxed regime.
I'm sure the slowies feel the benefit too.

On Sunday i checked the various roofing slates/tiles i have placed around their west-facing, terraced garden.
This one is the thickest and least reliable, but it came up with (briefly glimpsed) 'spaghetti' that day;







I wasn't quick enough to get them all in tho'





Posted By: will
Date Posted: 01 Sep 2018 at 7:01pm
Fantastic Ben and Suz - very jealous of your spaghetti! 


Posted By: Tom Omlette
Date Posted: 03 Sep 2018 at 8:55pm
that's great ben :)



Posted By: Liz Heard
Date Posted: 05 Sep 2018 at 7:44pm
Thanks Will and Timtom


Posted By: Suzy
Date Posted: 01 Nov 2018 at 2:03pm

This small slowie was the only one seen today during a look round all seven covers I've got in the garden. There had been many hours sun by the time I looked. I have noticed the numbers reducing recently - particularly all the adults have gone weeks ago. Over years of watching it seems the small ones are last to bed and first up in spring. I'll try and look after less sunshine and see if more are still about. Air temp 11degC.



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Suz


Posted By: will
Date Posted: 04 Nov 2018 at 2:29pm
Great to see a November reptile, Suz I wonder if this will be the last one of the year? Will anyone beat a Nov 1st slowie? - not counting wall lizards, that is!


Posted By: chubsta
Date Posted: 05 Nov 2018 at 12:44am
Originally posted by will will wrote:

Great to see a November reptile, Suz I wonder if this will be the last one of the year? Will anyone beat a Nov 1st slowie? - not counting wall lizards, that is!

Challenge accepted - it its still very warm here during the day so will have a nose tomorrow...


Posted By: Suzy
Date Posted: 05 Nov 2018 at 10:53am
I did see probably the same slow worm the next day as well. but didn't put the photo up on here as it is just the same. Do folk remember when I had some showing into December a few years ago?

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Suz


Posted By: will
Date Posted: 05 Nov 2018 at 3:13pm
Good luck Chubsta - yes Suz, Dec slowwies definitely ring a bell. Here's my 'Guy Forks' effort from today! (sorry about the pun...)



Posted By: Suzy
Date Posted: 12 Nov 2018 at 11:45am
Found this one under a cover in the garden just a few minutes ago. Not the same cover as the other day and not the same slow worm. It's sunshine and showers here in East Devon today.



Not quite so spectacular as Will's posting! 


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Suz


Posted By: TheHabitatGardener
Date Posted: 08 Dec 2018 at 4:48pm
Hello Gemma and Suzy and co. I am new to this forum and I just wanted to say how interesting and inspiring I find your posts! I am in Essex too Gemma and I’m planning a wildlife pond so thank you for all the advice you have posted. I am wondering how to attract slow worms to the garden as that would be a dream come true for me. I have seen one (dead on the road 😩) a few miles from us so it’s possible they are around locally. Any advice much appreciated, these pictures are beautiful!


Posted By: Suzy
Date Posted: 08 Dec 2018 at 9:17pm
Slow worms can be present in an area in high numbers without us being aware of them. I have over sixty in my garden and rarely see them unless I search for them.
What you need to do is provide cover for them to hide under. This can be things like sheets of corrugated iron, roofing felt or plastic sheeting. They will also go under old carpets. They like to be in compost heaps too and if you cover a heap with plastic sheeting you will find them basking under the plastic when you peel it back. 
We are encouraged to let parts of our garden go wild for wildlife but I had plenty of slow worms when I still mowed all of it, BUT I did have the covers down and several large covered compost heaps. 
If they are in your area and you provide suitable cover for them then you might find them in the first year. 
Good luck



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Suz


Posted By: TheHabitatGardener
Date Posted: 09 Dec 2018 at 2:51am
Sixty! Incredible. I will follow your advice and put carpet/ roof felt down and create some open heaps (so far just have Dalek bins). We are currently living in California for a year but returning to our home in Essex this summer. I’m planning to develop our garden as a habitat garden and herps are high on my list. There are some amazing herps in California but for me nothing beats the magic of the native fauna I discovered in childhood at home!


Posted By: TheHabitatGardener
Date Posted: 09 Dec 2018 at 2:53am
Fantastic photo Will


Posted By: chubsta
Date Posted: 10 Dec 2018 at 7:53pm
i hadn’t seen any in my garden but spoke to someone who lived nearby and he said he had them. i ctreated a wild area in my garden and put down sheets and straightaway saw slow worms, and later in the year saw new babies. good luck with yours, hopefully you will be successful


Posted By: TheHabitatGardener
Date Posted: 10 Dec 2018 at 11:50pm
Thanks Chubsta that’s very encouraging. I can’t wait to get started now! I’m planning a wildlife pond and want to build in some hibernacula too. There are two very old ponds in the garden, one in deep shade of ancient trees and one nearer the house a bit clearer of trees and full of loosestrife and yellow flags in summer. Neither hold water all year round and they both take the ditch water from arable fields, so I’m excited to try to join up the dots by introducing a permanent clean water pond nearby. I’ve found newts, frogs and toads in the garden and the previous owners saw a lizard on the day they moved out apparently! There are two good garden ponds in neighbouring gardens close by. And a network of excellent old ponds in a large private garden a few big arable fields (<1 mile) away. I think they have grass snakes there - would they be possible visitors to my garden from that distance does anyone know?


Posted By: Suzy
Date Posted: 11 Dec 2018 at 10:00pm
I get grass snakes occasionally in the garden. We have a sunken stream at the bottom of the garden and that is likely their highway. They too will go under covers and in compost heaps that are covered. Again I started having visits from them when i had not created the wild garden. If there are plenty of ponds about I think your chances of grass snakes are good, if you are near the countryside as you say. 

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Suz


Posted By: TheHabitatGardener
Date Posted: 12 Dec 2018 at 5:24am
Thank you. I hope to come back on here with evidence of the herps I manage to attract one day - fingers crossed.


Posted By: will
Date Posted: 12 Dec 2018 at 1:18pm
@theHabitatGardener - thank youBig smile and good luck with your wildlife pond!


Posted By: Liz Heard
Date Posted: 12 Dec 2018 at 7:31pm
reading Suzy's updates.



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