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Wall Lizards - Dorset

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GemmaJF View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Feb 2015 at 4:33pm
Well at least with those pictures we can pretend spring is here Smile 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rags Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Mar 2015 at 7:36pm
With lovely sunny start to the day I went down to the beach to the west of Bournemouth pier to see how the local Wall lizards were enjoying Spring. I counted a total of 49 Podarcis muralis between Alum Chine and Flaghead Chine. Adults and juveniles showing. This total was achieved without any serious searching.











Most colourful lizard of the day went to this stunner with yellow and lime green stripes.



One predictable downside was the appearance of this...



...right in the middle of an area where I only usually see these...







 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rags Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Mar 2015 at 7:42pm
Just realised my 'Lizard of the day' didn't look that bright in the photo. Here's a shot taken when the sun was shining.


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will View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote will Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Mar 2015 at 5:05pm
Astonishing numbers!  if only our natives were faring so well...   let us know what happens to the sand lizards in that place where the wall lizards have colonised.  Any sign of bilineata yet?  still a bit cold, I guess.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rags Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Mar 2015 at 9:54pm
I have previously seen the Wall lizards encroaching into the Sand lizard habitat, but at either end of this particular patch. This is the first time I have seen a juvenile Wall right in the middle.

Not had a chance to look for L.bilineata yet this year. My scant records for the previous two years suggest it will still be a bit early for them. If the weather stays sunny I'll take a look this week.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Mar 2015 at 11:26pm
I doubt that places where wall lizards are found are managed much. Where they do occur they seem to achieve high densities. The small experience of the ones on Portland that I had showed them much less timid than the common lizard. Whether this would translate into aggressive behaviour towards the latter I don't know.I'm not familiar with sand lizards.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rob_H Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Mar 2015 at 8:34am
Great photos!!

Suzy, would you mind please sending me a pm with the details of that green wall lizard?!

Rags; The yellow ventral colours on that green guy are very cool! You don't often see that with the nigriventris guys. Have you noticed any mating behaviour yet? I haven't been able to get down to any of the colonies this year.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rags Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Mar 2015 at 9:10am
Hi Rob_H

I haven't seen any mating behavior so far this year but the pre-nuptials seem to be underway.



Suzy- I agree that the Podarcis are certainly the least nervous of our lizards and seem to tolerate passing pedestrians, dogs and bouncing beach balls far better than the L.agilis they cohabit with. Once actually disturbed they seem far quicker to return from cover and back to previous basking spots.

I have never witnessed any behavior between the two species that could be classed as aggression.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rags Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Mar 2015 at 9:31pm
With the weather forecast promising sunshine for a good part of the day, it was decided to make a try for the Podarcis sites in Portland.

Walking north along the coastal path from Portland Bill, along the eastern side we eventually came to the quarry workings at Longstone Ope. The sun was disappearing behind heavy clouds and the wind was fairly chilly. At the base of one of the quarry walls we managed to count 8 P.m. in a clump of bramble and loose stone. All were brown backed in colour, although one showed bright yellow lateral stripes.

Moving on a short distance to Cheyne Weare Quarry we were able to find a group of around ten adult and juvenile lizards, also brown backed, between the viewpoint car park and the old quarry. Shortly after our arrival the sun completely disappeared and rain began falling.

Finally my wife and I visited the Sculpture Park/Quarry at Tout Quarry. Despite searching for an hour and a half (and getting stranded on various rocky outcrops with vertical drops to certain doom), we were unable to find any reptiles at all.

Will try again later in the year.

Longstone Ope


Cheyne Weare



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will View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote will Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Mar 2015 at 6:37am
nice detective work! I've only ever found them at Cheyne Weare. The ones here look identical to ones just across the Channel so I used to hope they were natural colonists / stowaways perhaps from the Portland stone export industry but the various other forms on Portland suggest that these particular ones are just another of the (illegal) release programme that's been responsible for populating the south coast of Dorset in the last couple of decades.
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