Good opportunity to compare Common and Sand Lizard in the hand this morning, courtesy of lizard guru John Newton, who was on the coast to help with the "official" opening of the Link Path/Dune Path from Easedale Drive in Ainsdale, over to the NNR.
Volunteers helped remove sea buckthorn, and dune slopes were made more attractive to lizards, while I got the chance to take a few snaps of a Common Lizard and two Sand Lizards John provided.
You can see the smaller, pointier head of the Common Lizard (on the left above, next to a male Sand) - I find the broad, blunt head of a Sand Lizard is pretty distinctive, and the ear patch is more marked, no matter what stage they are at.
Sand Lizards are clearly larger beasties too, as you can see (hopefully) from the pic above of the Common Lizard next to a male and female Sand Lizard.
Superb animals - but don't forget, you need a Home Office licence to be handling them...although in the biting wind today there weren't many about on the dunes, and I don't think the next few days of wind and rain are particularly conducive to lizard watching either.
Despite the chill, Blackcap, Whitethroat, Willow Warbler and Chiff in song, and Swifts through in the morning, with two more over the Sands Lake this afternoon, where there was still a Common Sandpiper.
After Chris F's recent comments, I took a spin up to Weld Road after work, where seven Wheatears were on the sandy bank, and four White Wags joined a few Pieds.
Few Swallows through, and one or two more Natterjack spawn strands visible in the slacks.
Couldn't resist a visit to Plex for my daily Dotterel disappointment in the early evening.
By then it was really cold, but there were still 6 Wheatears on the fields and a flock of nine Whimbrels, just west of Gettern's Farm.
Tomorrow's forecast rain may deliver the good migrant-wise, but I'll be working.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...