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Finding newts and lizards


Today was a bank holiday because of the royal wedding, so dad and I decided to put my baby brother Sam in nursery and go on a big walk in a red deer wood which we call Titus Well.

When we parked the car we met a man who was helping to plan a big power line which is going to go straight through the middle of the wood. One of his jobs is to find out what wildlife lives in the woods. He helped us solve a big mystery which has puzzled us for ages.

In the wood, we would find square bits of thick roofing felt. They were everywhere ! Dad thought they might have had salt on them to attract deer but we didn't really know.

The man told us he had put them down all through the wood. They were there so he could count lizards and snakes. Because they would trap the heat and be warmer, lizards would hide under them, then he could count them and see what was there.

When we walked up to the woods, I kept looking at the ground and eventually I spotted a lizard !

It was a male common lizard. It had stripes the whole length of it, and it was about 10cm long. It was very scaly, and it had a bright orange tummy.

I was really really excited about seeing one because I really like lizards and I had never seen this type before.

A few weeks ago dad and I had gone in another walk in a new wood. On the way back I spotted something move near a pool beside the track. I looked closer and managed to catch one to look at, then dad came and he caught another.

At the time I thought they were lizards, but they were actually common newts ! The newt and the lizard looked a lot alike but the newt felt wet and slippery, and the lizard felt dry and scaly.

Dad had his camera and took lots of pictures:

The tummy of the newt was yellow and the throat was grey.

I have been walking in woods for years and I've only started to notice these now ! Reptiles (which is what lizards are) are one of my favourite animals, and I've seen them at zoos and animal centres before, but this was the first one that I've seen in the wild.

Have a great weekend ! I'm off camping with cubs tomorrow.

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shen said...

Thanks Jake! You helped me figure out that the little lizard person I found was a newt. :)

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