Monday 13 April 2015

Slow Worms and Wild Goats - what a cocktail!

It was a cold old day, the coldest for at least three weeks, and the central heating had been switched into hibernation over the Easter heatwave. Warm drinks, a down jacket fit for the Arctic and hot soup for lunch kept the chill away.

Dull skies didn’t make the idea of an afternoon walk any more appealing but Molly (dog) is a stickler for routine and her exercise. Within minutes of entering the reserve we were both as warm as toast; me with hat and gloves and Molly chasing the Frisbee.

Half way round I saw a slow worm’s nose retreat beneath a boulder. I couldn’t resist a peek and lifted it; I shouldn’t have done that. There was a family of at least five and my rude interruption caused them to slowly (it was cold!) retreat to the far edge of the boulder which was resting on the ground. I couldn’t just release the rock for fear of squashing them, so I wedged it up, placed some flat stones beneath and backfilled with dead bracken and leaves. Hopefully they will be alright but I feel bad that I disturbed them.

As you can see from the photo there were cobwebs beneath the boulder and some impressive looking spiders co-existing with the slow worms. I assume slow worms don't eat these spiders. Does anyone know what type of spider? 

A little further on and we bumped into the gang of goats with Supernanny; she’s given birth to twin kids twice in two years. There are now seven in the family with an auntie looking after last year’s kids and an impressive Billy always guarding the rear. This is what they looked like:  

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