Great Britain is not known for having a wide variety of reptiles, and unfortunately as I live in the North West, there aren’t many places near me where reptiles are likely to be found. There is at least one good spot, however: the sand dunes around Lytham St Annes, which are known to be home to a population of common lizards (Zootoca vivipara).
This species of lizard can be found not only throughout Great Britain, but Ireland and Europe as well, including areas within the Arctic Circle. Interestingly, different populations within the same species exhibit different reproductive methods: some common lizard populations in warmer countries lay eggs, but all those found in Britain give birth to live young (initially encased in soft membranes) in late summer.
A few weeks ago, I went down to Lytham and had a look around the dunes but saw no sign of any lizards. Today, however, I went to try again – and found three within a few minutes! I was only able to photograph one; the other two quickly disappeared before I even had a chance to point the camera. Afterward, I had a walk around but didn’t see any lizards anywhere else; coming back to the first area, however, I saw another three.
The lizards didn’t sit out in the open; the best places to find them were in smaller gaps in the grass that were exposed to sunlight. These were good spots for the lizards, as they could bask while having immediate shelter to retreat to when disturbed – and unfortunately, they were disturbed very easily.