The Chordata are those species, like ourselves, that have a backbone or more accurately a notochord. There are several other distinctive characteristics that define Chordates but the presence of a backbone is the best known.
Although the largest of animals located in the garden, they are often difficult to take a photograph of.
The Amphibians (Class Amphibia): In our garden this includes three species. The Common Frog, The Common Toad and either a Smooth or Palmate newt. We are yet to add a newt species to the garden species list as the photograph we took has been lost and we are uncertain of the species.
The Birds (Class Aves): The most numerous chordates recorded in the garden, on account of their obvious mobility. Species such a Heron have only been recorded once (attempting to steal our goldfish).
The Mammals (Class Mammalia): Excluding ourselves as humans we have listed cats and dogs. This is because they have a significant impact (negative) on wildlife in general. The species of bat recorded (using a bat detector) have only been seen flying over the garden, we have no evidence of their roosting in either the hazel or the house. We have recorded shrews before but failed to record the species.
The Reptiles (Class: Reptilia): We debated adding Grass Snake to our species list on account of it only ever being spotted once during 2003. However the local nature does have good records of this species and there is a chance (albeit as small one) that we may one day see it again.