Follow in Nigel's Footsteps

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Sand Lizards...

Where do you take a visiting Canadian colleague (and their partner), who's into herpetology? Luckily for me the decision turned out to be fairly easy as Sand Lizard Lacerta agilis was high on their hit list and I knew just where to look for them.

Saturday looked promising from a weather perspective, so we headed off towards Dorset to start our search. It wasn't long before we found our first lizard, a large, if slightly faded male.

Sand Lizard Lacerta fragilis, male: R. Harris
This was closely followed by more males thermoregulating in the April sunshine. Those we found got progressively greener as the morning went on.

Sand Lizard Lacerta fragilis, male: R. Harris
Sand Lizard Lacerta fragilis, male: R. Harris
Sand Lizard Lacerta fragilis, male: R. Harris

We also found a Slow Worm Anguis fragilis and our last find of the day, a lovely young male Grass Snake Natrix n. helvetica, who was just starting to slough. That's all six native reptiles plus Wall Lizard seen so far this year.

Grass Snake Natrix natrix helvetica, male.
Just about to slough its skin: R.Harris
Grass Snake Natrix natrix helvetica, male: R.Harris
Grass Snake Natrix natrix helvetica, male: R.Harris
Always fun to see a person's reaction to Grass Snake musk the first time they smell it. I wasn't laughing though when I realised the hand wipes I carry for just such an occasion, were in the other car! Oh well, we'd just have to stop at a pub to wash our hands and quench our thirst.

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