|The view from Culzean Castle in Ayrshire, Scotland|
In my previous post I mentioned some of the mammals we encountered on our recent Scottish odyssey. This time I thought I would add a couple of amphibian sightings. We saw several toads (and a batch of tadpoles) during our time away, and I may post other photos in due course.
|You never know who may be lurking in a woodland garden ...|
We knew the castle, lake and walled garden at NTS Culzean from a previous visit, but had not been to the designated wildlife garden before.
There were several signs about the place. I was particularly heartened to read the one below.
The first creature we encountered was this Common Toad. I know that skin colours can differ in toads, but I had never seen one like this before. It was large and utterly magnificent. Stuart Babbs on Flicka suggests that a peaty environment may account for dark pigments in toads.
Has anyone else seen toads like this one? Alison Davies posted about black toads on iSpot and it was suggested that a dark colour absorbs more heat. The colour can be an advantage in dark surroundings ... like the frog box.
The photo below shows a newt (or is it still a large eft?). I have not been able to identify the exact species.
I mentioned signs, and here in the photo below you can see another one, this time on the lid of the frog box. I have to confess at this point that both the black toad and the newt were in the box. We took a quick look and replaced the lid with great care. This kind of wildlife spotting felt a bit too easy - it was a bit like walking into the RSPB Minsmere Bittern Hide and seeing ... a Bittern!