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Boscombe Wall Lizards Abundant!:

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Davew
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Joined: 12 Jan 2004
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Posted: 08 Aug 2009

Spent about 40 minutes at Bosombe mid week just after heavy rain and in bright sun. I walked to the first bend in the zig zag opposite Wentworth Close and counted no less than 62 Wall Lizards in what must have been around 40 yards or less. The majority (40+) were tiny to medium sized young which were utterly fearless and would crawl on your hand. There were around 5 males, all coloured but dull and the remainder were females or female types with some quite large. Not a single Common Lizard was seen. Generally I'm behind protection of aliens on principle but this seems a bit over the top. Have they now ousted Common Lizard? Does anyone have a population estimate for Wall Lizard at Boscombe. Given the heavy undergrowth I probably managed to briefly look at less than 0.5% of the habitat so if my figures are representitive of a constant distribution.... Also saw a single Green Lizard there too.

Luv from Dave


Vicar
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Joined: 02 Sep 2004
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Posted: 08 Aug 2009
Hi Dave, population estimation is difficult, but I estimate well over 2,000 at the Boscome site alone. There are colonies spread all along that coastline.

Common lizards are there, but diminishing in numbers and range.

ref: http://www.lacerta.de/Themengebiete/Verschleppung%20und%20Au ssetzung/images/Bournemouth/Simon_Mole_2008.pdf

Steve Langham - Chairman    
Surrey Amphibian & Reptile Group (SARG).
Iowarth
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Joined: 12 Apr 2004
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Posted: 08 Aug 2009
Boscombe Cliffs seem to produce very different results for different people at different times. Simon Mole's investigations were extensive and thorough - and yet his findings and my observations on numerous visits seem to differ wildly. At its simplest, I have seen far more Common Lizards there on even a single day than he recorded in total in his visits in 2007. Similarly I have seen quite significant numbers in the areas which he records them as being absent from. And, in both cases, I am referring to adult animals. BUT, having said this, there is not, so far as I can judge, the same density of population as once there was. As for the number of Wall lizards I would say that Steve is quite right in his estimate.
As a matter of amusement as much as anything here is a VERY POOR quality photograph (trying to focus through a very small gap in dense vegetation) of all three species basking together - smack bang in a spot where Simon has no Zv sightings recorded. Male Zv, male Pm and immature female Lb.

Chris


Chris Davis, Site Administrator
Co-ordinator, Sand Lizard Captive Breeding Programme
Davew
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Joined: 12 Jan 2004
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Posted: 09 Aug 2009

"Boscombe Cliffs seem to produce very different results for different people"

Thanks for the comments guys and an excellent paper. It was just nice to visit Dorset again after a few years although obviously at this time of year everything was quite overgrown so a Studland Sand Lizard and the odd Slow Worm were the only additions to the trip list. Luckily it was a specific Butterfly trip so can't complain.


kevinb
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Joined: 18 Mar 2009
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Posted: 14 Aug 2009
Just came back from a couple of days down at Studland and very pleased to have found all reptile species plus the walls and greens at Boscombe.Almost gave up on the Grass snake but a wrong footing into waist deep mud saw a young grassie added to the list. 
AGILIS
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Posted: 15 Aug 2009
Must say I have never seen a common liz at Boscombe ony wall and greens who last see a la there ? keith
   LOCAL ICYNICAL CELTIC ECO WARRIOR AND FAILED DRUID
kevinb
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Posted: 16 Aug 2009
Walls and greens were at Boscombe, all others were at Studland in case of any confusion with my previous post.
Davew
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Posted: 16 Aug 2009
Forgot to mention I did see plentiful Common Lizard at other sites whilst in Dorset but as mentioned none at Boscombe
Iowarth
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Posted: 11 Oct 2009
A very belated posting - but I have been rather busy. Did my end of season Boscombe trip in mid-September. Sunny day, stiff cold northerly wind but well protected on cliff face and on south side of cliff-top gorse patches.
Results:-
L bilineata, 1 male, 1 female, 1 hatchling. All on cliff top.
P Muralis, 15 males, 12 females, 25 hatchlings. Mainly on zig zag
Z. vivipara, 17 males, 23 females, 38 neos. All on cliff top.
The Zv included two yearlings basking together, 1 typical brown the other with blue tail, green body - appeared incredibly bright to the eye! Incidentally in exactly the same place as the Zv/Pm/Lb group in my pic above. Pic below - copyright John Burnham.
Chris



Chris Davis, Site Administrator
Co-ordinator, Sand Lizard Captive Breeding Programme
herpetologic2
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Joined: 15 Jun 2004
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Posted: 12 Apr 2010
Does anyone want to have a meet up along the cliffs this
May?


j
Vice Chair of ARG UK - self employed consultant -
visit ARG UK & Alresford Wildlife
will
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Joined: 27 Feb 2007
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Posted: 13 Apr 2010
Hi Jon

Anyone wanting to see green lizards on the plateau area at Boscombe should be prepared for disappointment following a winter programme of almost total removal of the gorse clumps which they favoured - presumably taking out dozens of green - not to mention viviparous - lizards through exposure to predators or compaction during the works.  I found one small male and a hatchling a couple of days ago, after a concerted effort.


AGILIS
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Posted: 14 Apr 2010
what a load of lack of consevation minded pillocks that the council employ they prefer to see all the rubbish and crap then have a gorse bush and a bit of cover for birds alike   
   LOCAL ICYNICAL CELTIC ECO WARRIOR AND FAILED DRUID
will
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Posted: 14 Apr 2010
dead right Keith - I forgot to mention the impact on nesting birds; even if it was done outside the nesting season it will still have reduced the available nesting sites for them.  Photos below of denuded clifftop and a lonely green lizard:





Vicar
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Joined: 02 Sep 2004
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Posted: 16 Apr 2010
Blimey!, that is severe.

There will of course be plenty of Greens still on the cliffs, so I doubt that it will impact their viability too much, but seeing them is a different matter. They should be accessible at points down the ravine. It's great to see them jump for bees closer to the beach

Steve Langham - Chairman    
Surrey Amphibian & Reptile Group (SARG).
AGILIS
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Posted: 16 Apr 2010
I think if you try to scale the cliffs looking for herps you can be shot by Boscombe council as an illegal AGILIS40284.6494560185
   LOCAL ICYNICAL CELTIC ECO WARRIOR AND FAILED DRUID

- Boscombe Wall Lizards Abundant!

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