RAUK - Archived Forum - Natterjacks in Cumbria

This contains the Forum posts up until the end of March, 2011. Posts may be viewed but cannot be edited or replied to - nor can new posts be made. More recent posts can be seen on the new Forum at http://www.herpetofauna.co.uk/forum/

Forum Home

Natterjacks in Cumbria:

Author Message
calumma
Senior Member
Joined: 27 Jun 2003
No. of posts: 351


View other posts by calumma
Posted: 14 Aug 2005
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!calumma38578.3721412037
Lee Brady
Kent Herpetofauna Recorder | Independent Ecological Consultant

Email
Suzi
Senior Member
Joined: 06 Apr 2005
No. of posts: 860


View other posts by Suzi
Posted: 14 Aug 2005

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
calumma
Senior Member
Joined: 27 Jun 2003
No. of posts: 351


View other posts by calumma
Posted: 14 Aug 2005
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

Email
Caleb
Forum Coordinator
Joined: 17 Feb 2003
No. of posts: 448


View other posts by Caleb
Posted: 15 Aug 2005
Yes, very nice to see a picture of this site- sounds like it's unlike any other natterjack site in the UK. What's the approximate altitude, by the way?
calumma
Senior Member
Joined: 27 Jun 2003
No. of posts: 351


View other posts by calumma
Posted: 15 Aug 2005
Altitude is approx 150 m.
Lee Brady
Kent Herpetofauna Recorder | Independent Ecological Consultant

Email
Brian
Member
Joined: 02 Feb 2009
No. of posts: 17


View other posts by Brian
Posted: 02 Mar 2009

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.


Brian Banks
Swift Ecology
Dave1812
Member
Joined: 21 Sep 2008
No. of posts: 42


View other posts by Dave1812
Posted: 08 Jul 2009
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
Wildlife Trust (Cumbria) - Member
Solway AONB - Volunteer

- Natterjacks in Cumbria

Content here