Adur Lizards & Snakes
includes Snakes & Slow Worms (from August 2016 only)
& Amphibians
from 2017


 

 
 
 

2017

 
1 September 2017

Slow Worms
Mill Hill

I made a brief sortie to the upper part of Mill Hill as the weather was pleasant and the white fluffy clouds on the blue sky were conducive to photography in the middle of the day. There was a Common Lizard and a few plump Slow Worms south of the Reservoir.

5 July 2017
A rustle in the dense but very short vegetation on the lower slopes of Mill Hill was recognised with a clear view of a Common Lizard, Zootoca vivipara, which may have been after a Meadow Grasshopper, Chorthippus parallelus.

18 April 2017

Slow Worms
Mill Hill

 
27 March 2017

Wall Lizards

With the sun shining under a blue sky and the highest air temperature this year recorded by the Met Office at 15.5 °C, spring put in its first appearance and on the carnot walls and surrounds of Shoreham Fort, I spotted at least twenty adult Wall Lizards, Podarcis muralis,that were quite skittish but also had courting on their agenda. A dozen were spotted on the west-facing carnot wall, three on the normally favoured south-facing wall, and at least five on the east side, but not on the wall itself. I expect there many more unseen.

16 February 2017
Just the brief rays of the warm 10.2 °C  sun under a blue sky was a pleasant spring day.

Wall Lizard

On the carnot south-facing walls of Shoreham Fort, I managed a glimpe of three adult Wall Lizards, Podarcis muralis, that quickly skitted into holes in the flint and mortar. These were the first reptiles I had seen this year. The photographed lizard seems to be missing a leg.



1 November 2016
Two Slow Worms were found on the upper part of Mill Hill.

2 October 2016

Wall Lizard, Podarcis muralis, predating on a Crane-fly
Photograph by Su Reed
Location: Shoreham Fort

12 September 2016
 

Adult Adder
Vipera berus berus
Mill Hill

4 September 2016
A small Slow Worm was discovered on Shoreham Beach East just to the west of Shoreham Fort.

3 August 2016
 

 Slow Worms
Mill Hill

1 August 2016

Slithering and sliding through the Tor Grass, the adult Black Adder seemed to sense me and reversed direction before my camera could focus. At first, it was coiled up looking like a discarded belt on the lower slopes of Mill Hill. It was a rainy day for reptiles as I spotted a Common Lizard by an ants nest with at least a dozen Slow Worms on the southern top part of Mill Hill near the road. 


 

20 July 2016
On Buckingham Cutting (south) a Common Lizard, Zootoca vivipara, rested on the Cotoneaster, but skitted slowly into immediate cover and disappeared with my shadow. It was olive green like the one below.
 
6 July 2016
A Common Lizard inhabited an ant's nest on the overgrown meadow in the north-east corner of Mill Hill

10 May 2016

A colony of Slow Worms on the upper part of Mill Hill was my fourth species of reptile this year (Adur has five species) on a cloudy day with a hint of a breeze and mist in the valley.
 

4 May 2016
A rustle amongst the Cotoneaster on the meadow of Buckingham Cutting (south) was a Common Lizard, Zootoca vivipara, in the weak sunshine.

12 April 2016
A Buzzard soared over Mill Hill in the bright blue sky. On the ground, my first two Common Lizards of the year skitted over the area at the northern end of the the lower slopes that had been cleared of Privet bushes.

17 March 2016

Just after midday the first rays of sun that prompted at least 25 Wall Lizards, Podarcis muralis, to peek out of their holes in the carnot wall of the old redoubt, and from their shelter in crannies of the earth and rubble embankment. All but one were adults with lizards in pairs and sometimes in three in choice holes. This number seen was approaching to the most numerous seen (38) in one day. One lizard skittered right up to the top of the wall.

12 March 2016
 

In the weak midday sunshine, I quickly spotted at least 15 adult Wall Lizards, Podarcis muralis, on the the carnot wall of the Shoreham Fort, Shoreham Beach. One was basking, but they were generally skittish and rapidly clambered over the flint wall and into holes. These were the first reptiles I had seen this year.



20 September 2015


A dozen or more Wall Lizards, Podarcis muralis, were very skittish over the carnot wall of the Shoreham Fort, Shoreham Beach in the sunshine that cast heavy shadows in the late afternoon. Two were small juveniles and both adults and young lizards clambered high up on the west-facing flint wall, right to the top on at least four occasions. The first lizard seen was very green on its back, but the green tinge was not remarkable on the others.

1 September 2015

Juvenile Common Lizard, Lacerta vivipara
Pixie Path, north Shoreham

I first spotted an adult Common Lizard, Lacerta vivipara, on the Ivy at the top of the Pixie Path 3138 to Mill Hill, followed after a few minutes by five much darker juveniles as shown in the photograph above.

30 August 2015

Wall Lizard

Four large adult Wall Lizards, Podarcis muralis, skittered over the carnot wall of the Shoreham Fort, Shoreham Beach in the muggy sunshine. All had seemed to have lost and were regrowing their tails. There could have five or even six lizards as others were seen in the undergrowth and on rocks, but they have been repeat sightings. They were very lively and rarely settled in a still position.

25 June 2015

Wall Lizard


On dry land under the noon sun, only two Wall Lizards were seen, one quickly skitting in amongst the undergrowth and the second one clambering all over the carnot wall, before disappearing into a hole very near the top. The one lizard seen clearly for a few minutes showed remarkable agility on the vertical flint walls (which were brick at the top).
 
6 June 2015


Common Lizard
 
Such were the frustrations of the wind, that I was about to leave Buckingham Cutting (south) when I glimpsed the gentle fluttering of my first Small Blue Butterfly of the year. I chased it around and when it settled on the patch of Cotoneaster, I noted my first two Common Lizards of the year scrambling around the red berries and green leaves. I had never seen them amongst Cotoneaster before.
 
17 May 2015
On the southern carnot wall  of Shoreham Fort I spotted my first two Wall Lizards this year.
 


5 October 2014
On the southern carnot wall  of Shoreham Fort, two adult Wall Lizards, Podarcis muralis, skittered rapidly over the flint.
 
18 September 2014
I spotted half a dozen stumpy Common Lizards, Lacerta vivipara, on the chestnut fencing at the top of the Pixie Path that had all lost part of or for two of them, almost all of their tails. These were the first I have seen this year.
 
14 September 2014
I noted just one young Wall Lizard, Podarcis muralis, skitting over the shingle near the flint walls of Shoreham Fort in the early afternoon.
 
9 September 2014
I noted just one small Wall Lizard, Podarcis muralis, on the southern flint wall of Shoreham Fort in the early afternoon but the day was cloudy and breezy.

 

 
 
 
 
 

2 July 2014

I noted just two Wall Lizards, Podarcis muralis, on the flint walls of Shoreham Fort in the early afternoon and the large one had typically lost part of its tail.
 

1 June 2014
On the southern carnot wall  of Shoreham Fort, two adult Wall Lizards, Podarcis muralis, skittered rapidly into large holes. There were another three adults and a brown juvenile on the walls of gardens backing on to the shingle beach.

 

 
 
 
 
 

6 March 2014

On the southern carnot wall  of Shoreham Fort, I spotted my first reptiles of the year with six Wall Lizards, Podarcis muralis, basking in or near the holes in the flintwork. The lizard in the picture skittered into the grass below, dislodging the Undulate Ray egg case as it did so. It seemed to have a partner lizard seen in an adjacent hole. Wall Lizards lay eggs (oviparous) and are not viviparous like the Common Lizard Lacerta vivipara.
 


4 August 2013
Just one adult Wall Lizard, Podarcis muralis, skittered over the west facing wall of the Shoreham Fort, Shoreham Beach in the sunshine.

1 May 2013
On Footpath 3138 Pixie Path to Mill Hill my first Common Lizard Lacerta vivipara, of the year skittered into cover.

14 April 2013


Bathed by a weak sunshine and the welcome signs of a long awaited spring: two adult Wall Lizards, Podarcis muralis, poked therir heads of the carnot wall of the Old Fort, Shoreham Beach.. They were a bit tentative and skittered back into their holes in the wall when they got nervous, but the second lizard popped back out again about ten seconds later. The west facing wall was heated by the sun (at 13.0 °C)

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

4 March 2013

I spotted by first reptile of the year: a single sandy coloured Wall Lizard, Podarcis muralis, skittered over the south facing wall of the Old Fort, Shoreham Beach.
 

31 August 2012

 
 

I was on Shoreham Beach to try an get a photograph of a Wall Lizard after my sucess with a Common Lizard the previous day. Nineteen Wall Lizards were spotted on the south and west facing carnot flint walls of the Old Fort, skittering into holes in the wall at the earliest opportunity, with none of them keeping still in the open and basking in the sun. At least half of them were adults with a distinct green colouration, but one was a small brown coloured juvenile on the pebbles.

 
Wall Lizard
30 August 2012
 
 Common Lizard
Common Lizard

 The Common Lizard basked long enough for me to get close on the broken Chestnut fencing next to the Pixie Path, top part by the hedge.

13 May 2012
At last the sun came out (13.0 °C at1:00 pm, with a Moderate Breeze Force 4) and my first Common Lizard Lacerta vivipara, of the year was spotted next to a discarded plastic bag on the steps leading down to the lower slopes of Mill Hill. It had distinctive head markings.
Image

6 April 2012
A green Common Lizard, Lacerta vivipara, was seen for the first time this year on the lower slopes of Mill Hill.

Report & Photographs by Colin Knight on Sussex Postcards


29 February 2012
Around midday the sun shone weakly under a blue sky, but the warmth was enough for the first reptiles of the year to come out. On the south and west facing carnot wall of the Old Fort (on Shoreham Beach) I noted at least 16* separate Wall Lizards, Podarcis muralis, energetically skittered over the flint cobbled wall and into holes and crannies. All but one had intact tails and virtually all of them were large adults, but only the largest had a distinctive greenish tinge. (* duplicates excluded)
 


 

16 September 2011
There were brief snatches of sunshine through the gaps in the clouds (>18.7 °C):enough for a Common Lizard, Lacerta vivipara, my first of the year, seen basking on some fallen Chestnut fencing at the top of the Pixie Path.

12 August 2011

In the weak afternoon sunshine seemed to have encouraged at least 13 adult Wall Lizards, Podarcis muralis, that basked in the sunshine before skittering rapidly back in their holes, mostly on the west wall of the Old Fort, but at least two on the south-facing carnot wall and two in the undergrowth away from the wall. No juveniles were seen, but these have been seen in gardens of Old Fort Road on  Shoreham Beach where the lizards are frequently seen.

23 March 2011
A half a dozen adult Wall Lizards, Podarcis muralis, that skittered rapidly over the south-facing flint wall of the Old Fort, Shoreham Beach, in the sunshine, were my first reptiles seen this year. They were easily frightened and the the most memorable image was of their long intact tails in the holes in the wall. At least some specimens had a greenish  hue.



6 October 2010
Lizards basked in the brief period of sunshine. Two juvenile Common Lizards, Lacerta vivipara, were seen on the Chestnut pale fencing separating the Pixie Path from Mill Hill Cutting.

And over a dozen juvenile Wall Lizards, Podarcis muralis, skittered amongst a few rocks near the Old Fort and over the flint walls at the far eastern end of Shoreham Beach, with two much larger adults seen and there were probably many more present. One of the young Wall Lizards was missing most of its tail and just had a stump.

15 September 2010

Three juvenile Common Lizards, Lacerta vivipara, were seen on and in the cracks of one brace of Chestnut pale fencing separating the Pixie Path from Mill Hill Cutting.

23 July 2010
A Common Lizard, Lacerta vivipara, skittered into the undergrowth next to the northern steps amongst the Hawthorn scrub down to the lower slopes of Mill Hill. This was my first of the year.

1 July 2010
On a garden wall of one of the houses backing on to the shingle beach, an adult intact Wall Lizard, Podarcis muralis, skittered over a boundary wall.

20 April 2010
In the weak sunshine the first reptile of the year was spotted on the wall of the Old Fort, Shoreham Beach: an adult Wall Lizard, Podarcis muralis, (with an intact tail) skittered into a hole the size of a flint cobble on the south-facing wall.



1 October 2009

Juvenile Wall LizardOn a pleasant (17.3 °C) beginning to October with a Light Breeze (Force 2) blowing form the NNW (N veering to NW), I spotted seven Wall Lizards, Podarcis muralis, at the Old Fort (at the far eastern end of Shoreham Beach) with only a cursory attempt to look for them. The afternoon visit discovered two adults on the walls followed by two juveniles. Later when examining a small clump of flowering Sea Thrift, three or more further juvenile lizards were spotted skitting amongst the rocks and vegetation.

20 September 2009
On an energy sapping humid morning, a Common Lizard*, Lacerta vivipara, skittered in the undergrowth , resting on the top of a bramble leaf, next to the southern steps down to the lower slopes of Mill Hill.
(*Assumed species: it actually looked and behaved more like a Wall Lizard, Podarcis muralis.)

22 August 2009
A Common Lizard, Lacerta vivipara, was seen coiled up on the Chestnut fencing at the top of the Pixie Path.

13 August 2009
Three Wall Lizards, Podarcis muralis, were noted on the Old Fort walls in the weak sunshine.
Adur Lizards

25 June 2009
In the late afternoon, two Wall Lizards, Podarcis muralis, were seen on the flint walls of the Old Fort, Shoreham Beach. Both were green intact adults and the first one stayed around long enough for a photograph. I expect there were more as I did not look diligently.

29 April 2009
I spotted my first Common Lizard, Lacerta vivipara, of the year skitting over the Pixie Path. It was an intact juvenile.

11 March 2009
My first reptile of 2009 was one of five Wall Lizards, Podarcis muralis, basking for a brief view on the south-facing flint surround wall of the Old Fort, Shoreham Beach, before skitting off into the grass growing up next to the wall. Two of the lizards were grey coloured small juveniles.

3 September 2008
In a brief spell of weak sunshine, a Common Lizard, Lacerta vivipara, skittered over the tarmac section of the Coastal Link Cyclepath north of the mostly derelict Adur Riverbank Industrial Estate.

6 May 2008

On the Old Fort, Shoreham Beach, the fleeting glimpse of a Wall Lizard, Podarcis muralis, skitting into the undergrowth next to the sun-baked south-facing flint surround wall was the first of the year.
1 February 2008
 
Common Lizard (Photograph by Ray Hamblett)

Credit is due to Ray Hamblett for discovering a buried hibernating Common Lizard, Lacerta vivipara under a rotten log at the top of McIntyres Field, north Lancing. It was very difficult to see amongst the earth.

This must be a small Common Lizard, judging by the toes not being webbed. Note it is missing the end of its tail.

ID & Comments by Ray Hamblett on flickr Lancing Ring Pool



 

11 September 2007
 
Wall Lizard

In the warmth (20.4 ºC) of the midday sun, the six Wall Lizards, Podarcis muralis, seen on the Old Fort on Shoreham Beach were particularly lively clambering much further up the wall on two occasions than I had ever seen them do before, with behaviour uncharacteristic of the Common Lizard. One Wall Lizard basked on a ledge right near the top of the wall and another skittered that high before disappearing around to the shady side and out of view.
Adur Coastal Reports 2007

10 September 2007
A Common Lizard Lacerta vivipara, skittered across the towpath by Shoreham Airport at the end near Old Shoreham Toll Bridge. The Common Lizard is always associated with the grassy undergrowth and is not found skittering up walls.

9 September 2007
A Common Lizard Lacerta vivipara, skittered across the chalk path near the Reservoir on Mill Hill.

7 September 2007
Immediately I descended down the steps to the lower slopes of Mill Hill, a Common Lizard, Lacerta vivipara, skittered from the white chalk path to under the Brambles. This was rare sight on the bank, although they were known to occur there.

24 & 29 July 2007
The Common Lizard was seen under a piece of roofing felt on Mill Hill. This time it was not so plump. At the second sighting it was seen to have lost a large part of its tail by autonomy.

4 July 2007
A Common Lizard was seen under a piece of roofing felt deliberately laid down in the central mixed scrub and grass area (north of the Triangle) near the northern perimeter of Mill Hill. Its middle was plump, presumably with its viviparous young.
 
23 May 2007
A bright green lizard skittered out from a clump of Sea Kale on the shingle part of Shoreham Beach south of Shingle Road. Apparently, they are often seen in this area and in the gardens of the houses and the school grounds in the same road. The lizard appeared to be a lime green colour without obvious markings. It looks like a Wall Lizard, Podarcis muralis.
Report by Stephen Savage


NB: I have also received past reports from two separate reliable sources of a green lizard brought in by a cat and lots of unidentified lizards in a garden (by a visitor not the owner) from the same area.

It was an exceptionally green and heavily gravid female Wall Lizard, Podarcis muralis.

Identification confirmed by Chris Davis (Herpetological Conservation Trust)
Photograph by Steve Savage
27 March 2007
In the late afternoon the earlier sunshine had brought out the first Common Lizards, Lacerta vivipara, of the year on lichen-covered chestnut fencing on the Pixie Path to Mill Hill. Fred had seen Common Lizards earlier this year on the Riverbank by the houseboats and he spotted a flurry of movement about midday.
Common Lizard
11 March 2007
At least 21 adult Wall Lizards, Podarcis muralis, were spotted on the flint wall of the Old Fort, Shoreham Beach, basking in the sunshine and displaying far more energy that I had ever seen before with one lizard skittering right up to the top of the wall.
Wall Lizard
About five of the lizards were smaller juveniles. All the lizards had intact tails. The numbers were thought of as less lizards than there were because of continual human disturbance.

With an air temperature of 14.4 ºC at 1:53 pm it was the warmest day of the year so far.


Wall Lizard

3 May 2006
At least ten adult Wall Lizards, Podarcis muralis, were spotted on the Old Fort, Shoreham Beach, and they were very skittish, none of them appearing much larger than Common Lizards, Lacerta vivipara, and nine of them a fairly bright green in colour. They seem to move in a more upright fashion less skulking and serpentine than the native lizards. All their tails were seen to be intact as they skittered rapidly over the flint wall or pebbles to the crevice holes. The lizards were widespread along the west and south facing flint walls. A colony of Meadow Ants was noted and I thought I heard the rustle of another lizard nearby.

I made the following observations about the Wall Lizards:

(1)  Although I could not discern the longer legs by observation I discerned a different mode of skittering around with the body held higher off the ground and capable of the the position in the picture on the left which I have never seen in a Common Lizard.

(2)  The green colouring was no help. Both species of local lizard could be equally green.

(3)  Habitat was no help. Both species could be found on the frequent flint walls locally. The Wall Lizard  has not yet been discovered in grassy habitats, although it was found more often with at least some vegetation on Shoreham Beach.

(4)  The preference for running along walls (even along the foot of the walls) has not been seen in the Common Lizard.

(5)  There must be instant ways of recognizing the two lizards, but I have not mastered them yet. The heads and faces may be slightly different.
 

Lizard at Old Fort (Andy Horton)
"Wall" Lizard from the Old Fort, Shoreham Beach
Photograph by Andy Horton
"Common" Lizard from Lancing Ring
Photograph by Brenda Collins
Wall Lizard  Podarcis muralis
Common (or Viviparous) Lizard, Lacerta vivipara

Identifications by Chris Davis
(Co-ordinator, Sand Lizard Captive Breeding Programme
Webmaster, the Herpetological Conservation Trust)


Lizard from the Pixie Path near Mill Hill
The identical lizard: it may have lost part of its tail and regrown it by a process called autotomy

cf.  Wall Wizard from Portland Bill (image)
 
 

Wall Lizard notes by Ralph Hollins
Ralph Hollins' Nature Notes

Notes:
 


Lizards have always inhabited the old Fort, or in my memory for over forty years. They were there in 1963.
If they are foreign lizards they have been there longer than the accidental release in 1975 and may have come from the adjacent wharves.

Back to Shoreham Coastal 2004

Adur Coastal 2009


26 April 2006
A pair of Peacock Butterflies settled on the discarded Chestnut fence paling, where a pair of Common Lizards, large adults with intact tails were spotted.
 
Common Lizard
 

The lizards hid amongst the undergrowth making photography difficult, but they did not skit away as quickly as expected.

9 October 2005
A dark Common Lizard, Lacerta vivipara, was seen on a wooden pallet next to where the Water Shrew (? ID) was seen before on the Slonk Hill Cutting. This lizard was not quite fully grown.



30 March 2004
Two lizards rapidly skittered into cover at the base of the flint walls south-east of the Toll Bridge amongst the grass on the river sunny side in mid-afternoon. These lizards appear to be a different species found at the Old Fort (Shoreham Beach) and I have penned these as the the Common (or Viviparous) Lizard, Lacerta vivipara. There were probably many more lizards but the old flint sea wall was a ruin with innumerable hiding places for small reptiles.
Adur Levels 2004

30 March 2004
Locally, they way be known as Wall Lizards because of their frequency of inhabiting old flint walls, and under the blue cloudless sky, over fifty (counted 38 avoiding duplicates and then estimated) lizards skittered up the extensive crumbling south and west facing flint walls of the Old Fort (Shoreham Beach) (TQ 234 046) with dexterity, very quickly (too quickly to photograph) after basking in the warmth of the morning sun.
There was one particularly large lizard and I would estimate its length (excluding its long tail) at 60 mm. Most were much smaller appearing about half the size at 40 mm.
All these lizards would drop into the grass or hide in a crevice if disturbed. They were only to be found near tufts of grass. Although they skittered over the vertical walls with ease, they only occupied the lower flint levels. All the lizards seen had their full tails.
Old Fort Photographs (More Lizard Images)

Postscript:  these lizards have now been definitely identified as the Wall Lizard, Podarcis muralis.

Identifications by Chris Davis (Herpetological Conservation Trust)


These are only a small selection of the local lizard reports.



Historic:

Lizards were present on the walls of the Old Fort in the 1960s.