Searching for Sand Lizards

During the summer I started to explore our local “sandy” heathland. Many of the heathland areas were built on in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, but now the ones that are left have special protection and are classed as SSSI (Sites of Special Scientific Interest). My local heath is a breeding ground for many birds including Nightjars, Dartford Warblers and Stonechats, but on this particular day I was looking for lizards, especially the rare Sand Lizard.

Sand Lizards can grow to anything between 15-20cm long, with females usually bigger than the males. They are now an endangered species in Britain, due to the loss of habitat from development…. They are secretive little creatures, and I must admit I wasn’t expecting to see one on my first visit to the heath with my camera. Looking back I think I was very lucky to see this one sunning itself on the side of a pathway, and she (I think it was a she?) was quite happy to sit and let me film her.

Sand Lizard at Upton Heath, Dorset – click arrow to view

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~ by Jane on October 5, 2007.

11 Responses to “Searching for Sand Lizards”

  1. Well done Jane. Did you know that a great spot for Sand Lizards is Evening Hill in the area just by the viewpoint. If you are early enough you will catch them warming up. Also in Spring when they are mating you see the male in all his bright colour.

  2. I didn’t realise we had sand lizards in Dorset!

  3. You have been busy!! Well done – liked this one and the woodpecker notes.

  4. Well captured – will take more notice when walking on the heath.

  5. Thanks Ray for the tip on Sand Lizards at Evening Hill. I wouldn’t have expected them there… right in the middle of Sandbanks! I’d love to get a video of the male in his bright green colours.

  6. Thanks also Christine, Sue and Vicky. I had never seen a Sand Lizard until this summer… bit of a new thing for me. Hope to capture them on film again in the spring. I also got some film of grass snakes over the summer so may put that on the diary.

  7. Jane at last I can view the sand lizard, thankyou. My family activated the relevent bit on my PC. I so wanted to see them because last July we were walking on Holt Heath and for the first time ever, the heath was full of lizards, they seemed to be sand lizards, especialy as we were on sandy paths. There were so many one actually ran under my foot! I have now started to wear gaiters though, as I had a similar incident with a viper in the New Forest!

  8. Janet. So glad you are now able to see the videos. I will try to get some better footage of the sand lizards in the spring – I will definitely go over and have a look at Holt Heath. I will also put up some video of the common lizard (as I saw them on the same day as the sand lizards at Upton Heath). I’ve never seen an adder… but an adder up your trousers does not sound a nice experience, I can totally understand the gaiters.

  9. I am doing research in school and this really helped me a ton! thanks so much to whoever did this!
    -Laina

  10. WOW! im also working with laina on the project and i can’t believe you got so close to them! ewww thank god we don’t have them in CT!
    lol
    Thank you so much for your help and caring for nature!
    Kara

  11. Hi Laina and Kara. Thanks for your comments. Really glad I was able to help with your project. They are really amazing when you see them in the wild, however you have to spend ages creeping up on them. Hope the project goes well! Jane 🙂

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