On the last warm sunny afternoon the day before this first “blow” of the autumn brought wind and rain across the UK, some of us were inWithens Clough and Nigel spotted this Common Lizard basking on a wall, mid-afternoon. (Zootaca vivipara, formerly Lacerta vivipara.)

They seem to be on most of our uplands / upland fringes. No records come from woodland or valley bottoms, though sometimes people mistake newts in the valleys for lizards.

The area most records of lizards come from is around Blake Dean, but this could be partly due to the area being popular for days out.

We don’t get the other native lizard, Sand Lizard Lacerta agilis, in Calderdale. The nearest site for that is Ainsdale Dunes, on the west coast. It’s on my list of native species to see, as I’ve only seen it abroad, and in an open-air reptilarium in the New Forest, Hampshire.

I’d love to receive any reptile, newt / amphibian records as I am Herptile Recorder for Halifax Scientific Society. Thanks to Nigel for spotting this as we were all about to pass it, weary after a day in the field looking for mosses and liverworts with Johnny Turner.

Nigel is off to Malta today to help in the human shield protecting migrating raptors, etc from the law-breaking Maltese shooters who carry on with impunity while their government turns a blind eye.