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On The Boardwalk

Common Lizard

On The Boardwalk

A visit to Thursley Common NNR yesterday brought a wealth of wildlife treats! One of my favourite inhabitants of the common are the common lizards. They bask on the boardwalk in the sunshine and some are quite bold. This lizard was about 10cm long and had truly beautiful colours and patterns! I was able to get a close up of him using my 100-400mm lens so that I could keep a reasonable distance and take the image from a low angle.

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ShareMondays2018 – On The Boardwalk

Common Lizard

ShareMondays2018 – On The Boardwalk

I had a fantastic meet-up with Natural England National Nature Reserve managers, Leo and James, last week at Thursley Common NNR in Surrey. I think coming around with me in my wheelchair was a bit of a revelation to them both, as they discovered how so many little things that you just wouldn’t notice on a ramble, can become the most frustrating obstacles when you’re on wheels or have reduced mobility. We have made some good plans to improve access on the main way-marked paths, increase signs, add disabled parking, add Braille and embossed symbols to signposts, create more passing areas on the boardwalks, firm up the bridleway surface at crossing points, investigate installing more seats and rest points, addition of more railings on certain parts of the boardwalk and getting regular visitors to report any obstacles or loose boards directly to the ranger. Phew!! That’s a lot of work. Some of it should be reasonably easy to get done but with only a few rangers and a big reliance on volunteer workparties, many of our plans could take some time to achieve.

I’ve got my own set of tasks to be getting on with! Plenty of research to start with. One big goal is to actually create a PDF downloadable map. I think that would help all visitors to Thursley, not just those of us with disabilities. After all, getting totally lost is actually pretty disabling for anyone! So, I’m looking forward to meeting with Leo and James again, as well as with others who could help us in this project and I absolutely can’t wait to visit Thursley again! For now it will have to be with some assistance but there is a clear path ahead of us. Earlier today, BBC Springwatch retweeted a quick-edit photo I had taken of a tiny common lizard spotted on the Boardwalk at Thursley so I shall lead this post with a full edit of a larger, adult lizard spotted on the very same Boardwalk. This one’s for ShareMondays2018 and the Wex Mondays challenges. A gallery of more seen from the boardwalk is below:

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The Unexpected Grass Snake

Grass Snake in The Glasshouse

The Unexpected Grass Snake

If you go down to The Glasshouse at RHS Wisley Gardens for the Tropical Butterfly event, you might just spot the local grass snake who has been coming into the warmth of the tropical zone for the last few winters. It’s currently the hibernation period for our native reptiles. This clever snake has found a great place to keep warm as well as being able to keep feeding on any insects and small mammals that have also found their way into the shelter of the glasshouse.

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Sheltered

Sheltered

The start of October has brought some stormy weather to Kos!

We went down to the ruined temple of Aghios Stephanos to watch the storm roll across the island and the waves crash over the rocky promontory.

Amongst the ruins live geckos and lizards, often hidden from sight in the crevices.

This Stellagama Stellio, or Roughtail Rock Agama, revealed itself briefly whilst seeking out shelter from the blustery weather.

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Natrix Natrix

Natrix Natrix

I spent the afternoon at RHS Wisley Gardens with my parents today. We had great fun hunting for wildlife, feeding the ducks, watching boats on the lake and enjoying the sunshine.

I’d set myself a challenge today, to photograph the grass snake (natrix natrix) that had evaded me earlier in the week!

It took until the end of the day, when visitors had almost all gone, before she ventured out onto her rock to soak up the sun.

I was so thrilled to get some images of her as she’s very shy. Stealth and patience has finally paid off though with this photo of her scenting the air with her tongue.

I hope to see more of her over the summer!

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Bearded Dragon

Bearded Dragon

Today we had to make trip to “Pets at Home” to get a new scratch post for our cat, Pixel and some more bird food for our hungry little garden visitors.

I always get a little bit side tracked at the pet shop though and here is one of my favourite creatures to go and watch for a while. This wonderful lizard is a bearded dragon (Pogona) and they originate from Australia just like me!

I’d love to keep them as pets but we just don’t have the space to give them a really good vivarium, which is essential. They are lovely creatures, very friendly and tactile and will live for around 10 years.

You can link through the photo to the “Pets at Home” web page about them if you think you might be interested in one as a pet.

Please make sure you really do your research before buying and are fully committed as many of these lizards end up needing to be re-homed!