la roque gageac

Dordogne Wildlife Diary

  • Ocellated NW Spain

    This lizard is a rare species in Dordogne and very hard to find in it's habitat of dry stoney causse grassland. I've only seen one - a juvenile at Trémolat a few years back.

    However on a recent trip to Galicia in NW Spain we found them surprisingly common in dunes, woodland, a rocky headland and a town park. These two were in the gardens of the fort at La Coruna, male on the right and the male can also be seen in the second picture alone. We were on a cycling tour of the city but had to stop the guides so that we could study and photograph them. One of the guides said "oh yes, they are common"! They are handsome beasts, particuarly the males with their blue spots on the flanks, and can grow to over half a metre including the tail - which makes up half it's total length. There are claims of some individuals nearly as long as a metre but these claims are probably exaggerated.


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Welcome to my Dordogne Wildlife Diary

In it you will find regular wildlife sightings in the département of Dordogne, notably of birds and butterflies in southern Dordogne where I live. In adddition there will be occasional references to neighbouring départements such as Lot et Garonne, Gironde, the Lot and places further afield. Check out the Faune-Aquitaine website for the latest wildlife sightings in Dordogne and Aquitaine.

Where possible I will add photographs to illustrate the entry. Many thanks to Margaret Mills (family photo) and Denis Cauchoix (birdwatcher photo).

I hope that you enjoy my diary and look forward to your comments.

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