Posted by: Ross Gardner | October 1, 2015

Scaling the Heights

I would say no pun intended with the title, but I’d be lying.

For any who may doubt or are unaware of the climbing talents of the Common Lizard (scale, as in a climbing and reptile skin – do you see what I did there!?) here is a picture of a wee beastie determined to obtain the best possible position to soak up the rays from the early-autumn sunshine at Hornchurch Country Park, down in – quite literally – sunny Essex.

Common Lizard (Lacerta/Zootoca vivipara). Ross Gardner 2015

Common Lizard (Lacerta/Zootoca vivipara). Ross Gardner 2015

The same Lizard with its climbing feat in context

The same Lizard with its climbing feat in context.  It can just be seen at the top of the stump.

It was certainly living up to one of its archaic names of Nimble Lizard, having ascended a good metre or so up the vertical face of the stump – no mean feat for a 12cm reptile.

This can be a good time for finding lizards.  They are quite typically active into October before retreating into hibernation, but with heat of the autumn sun receding they might be inclined to spend more time basking and making the most of the warmth.  Indeed, on my last visit to the Country Park I counted no less than 14 without any real effort in actually searching for them, save merely checking likely looking basking spots as I walked past.

With the Teal and Lapwing were beginning to gather around the shallow valley of the Ingrebourne River running through the park, as this more wintry side of the place begin to lay its foundations, I could still enjoy the irony of cold blood still being warmed only a few metres away.

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