Today Bev and I decided to make the most of the mild weather and go for a walk in the Wyre Forest. The walk along the dis-used railway line felt really Spring-like with bird song seemingly all around us, interspersed with the occasional drumming of a Great Spotted Woodpecker and the kronking call of a distant Raven. In the skies above 4 Common Buzzards were making the most of the weather and soaring on the thermals.
At Town Coppice I spent some time looking for some of the forest's reptilian residents. At this point Bev and I split up and she carried on walking whilst I undertook a slow search of the bracken clad clearing. My time was well spent as I managed to locate (and photograph) 4 basking Common Lizards. Three of which had their tails intact and one was without. Tail loss in Common Lizards isn't an uncommon occurrence as they will shed their tails as a defence strategy against predators. Common lizards have an amazing way to escape capture from predators. If caught by the tail it will snap off at a joint near the base, leaving their predator holding just the tail which will continue to wriggle for a while after separation. The lizard can grow a new tail if it lives long enough, although the new tail will be shorter and thicker than the original.
A while later Bev and I met back up and she filled me in on her equally enjoyable wildlife experiences having seen a Muntjac deer in the orchard at Lodge Hill and encountered good numbers of both Lesser Redpoll & Siskin at the footbridge.
All I can say is... what an enjoyable day, the Wyre Forest can be such a magical place!
Common Lizards - 2nd March 2014