A beautiful female lizard.
Notice the lack of markings, this is referred to as a woodland morph.
A basking male adder seen on site 1.
Although the Common Toad is a widespread species in Britain its population is in decline. This has led to it being listed as a Priority Species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.
A trio of basking grass snakes.
Grass Snakes have more predators than you might think. The list is long but it includes Herons, Buzzards, Hedgehogs and Weasels.
The Grass Snake is protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
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Common Toads usually hibernate between October and March and then breed from March onwards. Toadlets usually emerge from ponds during August.
Adult Common Toads feed on invertebrates like earthworms and snails. Toadlets feed on smaller invertebrates including aphids.
Common Lizard - Zootoca vivipara.
Our largest snake, the Grass Snake, particularly likes wetland habitats, but can also be found in dry grasslands and in gardens, especially those with a pond nearby.
Common toads of Bomb Crater Pond.
Each toad string on average contains 1,500 eggs.
There is a tendency for casual observers to misidentify a Grass Snake, fearing that it is actually an Adder. However, the two species (in their normal colour forms) are quite different in appearance.
I've met so many people over the years who think they have seen adders in the Loughton or High Beech areas. In most cases it was a Grass Snake.
Toads return to the same pond to mate and spawn every year.