Friday, 8 May 2009

More like Florida every day

On Thursday May 7th we had some long sunny spells which are ideal for reptiles wishing to "catch some rays" by sun-bathing. We found a large grass-snake, curled up in the gully near the beach and later, on a log in Heronry South, a large terrapin.

These American reptiles are popular pets, but they soon outgrow their aquarium and they take a bit of caring for. Owners often release them into the wild or flush them down the toilet. We have sightings at Paxton a couple of times a year. So far we have seen them on Weedy, Cloudy and the Heronry pits, as well as in the river.

I'm told that they can't breed here, but I remain to be convinced on that. They always seem to be pretty healthy. So do they pose a threat to other wildlife? I'm not sure. If they bred and became numerous, they would certainly interfere with the food chain in our lakes. However, they have been here for quite a few years and don't seem to be increasing. I was rather pleased to see this one.