Monday 23 August 2010

Herpetofauna (2): Frogs and Lizards

Thanks to David at Wildlife Wales, we decided to re-visit Carmarthenshire's Llyn Llech Owain Country Park at Gorslas near Cross Hands. We had been there once before, but it was a long time ago.

We particularly hoped to see Goldcrests, and we wonder if we were successful since the birds we saw had the yellow-gold wing band that you can see on the juvenile here on the RSPB site (you may need to click through to 'illustration 2').

We saw a number of Goldfinches (see below) in the fir and larch plantations and on the scrubby heathland. My thanks to David at Wildlife Wales for his help here.

We sat and watched Dragonflies and Damselflies from the hides. The spots of pink iridescence beneath the dragonfly below were extraordinary. I think the species is probably the Black Darter, Sympetrum danae. I believe this one is a male, and would be grateful to know more.

There were a number of butterflies, too, including the Small Copper on the heather in the photographs below.

There was some very arresting fungus... On first inspection when I got home and uploaded the photographs, it looked like a Yellow Coral fungus of some sort. I have yet to verify whether these grow in my neck of the woods! You can see an example of Meadow Coral here.

We were particularly delighted with and surprised by our Herpetofauna sightings - two lizards and two small frogs. I mistook the first frog for a large fly. I saw something like a Horsefly skittering about on the path in front of us, and then realized that it was actually hopping! I think it was a small Common Frog. It was not warty enough for a toad!

It was not long before we noticed a second, though I seem to recall that the photo below is a second view of the first.

We were on the home stretch when we noticed a small dark Lizard on the edge of the path.

I think it was a juvenile male.

We paused to let a family pass by, and soon caught sight of this last creature. He was considerably larger and lighter in colour than the first lizard, though I suspect they were both Common Lizards.

This photo above reminds me of a Pangolin!

Lizards in previous posts
Yellow Fungus in a previous post
External Resources


Mary said...

Wow...I hope I remember to comment on even half of the neat stuff you had here! That dragonfly iridescence is neat! How wonderful that you caught that in your shot. The butterflies are lovely! That! I love the color of it. All I ever see is beige or white or something boring. And the frogs and really have great stuff here! I've been to Wales once and loved it, but it was before I was into nature photography :-(

Mistlethrush said...

Wonderful photos. Glad you spotted goldcrests - they are few and far between here especially since last year's harsh winter. Let's hope this year is kinder to them.

Anonymous said...

Hi Caroline, I came over as soon as I saw your link! You've got some amazing photos!We don't have the pangolin-looking types here. Mostly brown but I love to photograph them. Love all your lizard photos and the close-ups especially. And the fungi...I've not seen that before. It's beautiful!