Sand Lizards at Higher Hyde Heath

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Sand Lizard (male) enjoying a few rays of spring sunshine at Higher Hyde Heath.

Great to see the Sand Lizards especially when the males are bright green during Spring and early Summer. Hard to believe they’re native to the UK.  In total over a couple of hours we were fortunate to see 5 males and 2 females. Somewhat surprisingly not a single Common Lizard however the sound of a Turtle Dove calling from a nearby tree was an unexpected bonus.

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Open wide!
A  few highlights edited to show the occasional bit of action. In general whilst they’re basking in the sunshine Sand Lizards have little reason to move unless they feel threatened. Although the footage gives the impression I was relatively close it was recorded from a considerable distance on the equivalent of a 420mm lens (approx. 8x magnification).
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Note the relatively short stumpy tail on this particular lizard. At some point in its past the lizard has been forced to discard its tail in response to a predator. In the Dorset heaths the Sand Lizard’s main adversaries are Smooth Snakes and Kestrels.
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Another male Sand Lizard complete with a full tail. Again, quite content to relax in the sunshine.
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Finally a Sand Lizard stretching its legs as it moves closer towards a female hiding under a pantile. Unfortunately on this occasion it was impossible to photograph the female without causing any disturbance.

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