Porto

Portugal, Spain, Andorra

Porto

Postby Kevin Byrnes » Sun Nov 11, 2018 10:24 pm

Feeling rather flushed with success following my recent trip to central Spain and rather bored sitting at home by myself, I booked a short trip to Porto in Portugal. The main targets for the trip were the Madeira wall lizard Teira dugesii , Bocage's wall lizard Podarcis bocagei that I had missed on the Spanish trip and also to try and find a Gold striped Salamander Chioglossa l lusitanica from the population below the Mondego river.
Thursday Nov 1st
After flying into Porto on a cold and cloudy day, I drove to the local park where I had seen people had taken photographs of Bocage's wall lizards. The habitat looked great with lots of stone walls and structures but the weather was wrong and there was no sign of life, I pressed on with the search and at 1pm the sun came out. I sat down for 30 mins to let the place warm up and retraced my steps, passing a large wall I noticed some movement and creeping forward I soon had the first species of the trip, Bocage's wall lizard.
ImageUntitled by Kevin Byrnes, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Kevin Byrnes, on Flickr

Out of the corner of my eye I spotted some movement again and realised that the lump of moss was actually an Ocellated lizard Timon lepidus
sunning itself, another one appeared at my feet, with it's colours looking beautiful in the sunshine.

ImageUntitled by Kevin Byrnes, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Kevin Byrnes, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Kevin Byrnes, on Flickr.

A walk around the park gave more of the same species so I headed off to check into my apartment feeling rather pleased with myself.
Friday Nov 2nd
Up early and a 3 hour drive south to Lisbon to try and find the Madeira wall lizard. Driving through showers of rain my mood dipped but as I neared the coast the sun came out again briefly and as I parked the car I recognised the precise location where Bobby Bok and Sander had stood in a previous report. I noticed a lump of concrete in the bushes and thought to myself" Could this be the same block" I lifted it and found two Madeira wall lizards beneath, blimey, that was easy! Walking along the hedge revealed several more lizards basking on the stumps of the pruned bushes.

ImageUntitled by Kevin Byrnes, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Kevin Byrnes, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Kevin Byrnes, on Flickr

I then drove to a couple of locations within Lisbon for some inner city herping but they didn't look like the sort of place to leave a car so I carried on to more favourable locations. I planned to walk along a hilltop dirt track looking for Western Psammodromus Psammodromus occidentalis but once again the weather closed in and the intended area was cold and foggy.
Driving back to Porto on the main highway I pulled into a toilet/picnic area and soon noticed lots of Geniez's wall lizards Podarcis virescens along the fence and basking on a small structure.

ImageUntitled by Kevin Byrnes, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Kevin Byrnes, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Kevin Byrnes, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Kevin Byrnes, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Kevin Byrnes, on Flickr

Saturday 3rd Nov
Another early start with another three hour drive south, I must learn to book accommodation nearing the areas to be searched.This time the target was the Gold striped Salamander, I had already found the species on a trip to the Picos de Europas but wanted to find one from the southern population. Driving through the hills I came to a hair pin bend that obviously crossed a stream so I parked up and looked over the bridge to see a small stream full of stones, perfect. I excitedly climbed down one side and began to slowly lift stones expecting an easy find but my optimism slowly faded as I found nothing. I climbed back up to the road and then down the other side of the bridge and once again started the process, my heart skipped a beat when I flipped a stone but realised it was a Fire salamander Salamandra salamandra larvae that lifted into the current and was gone. Moving to a pile of stones out of the water, I turned one and there it was, a Gold Striped Salamander Chioglossa l lusitanica.
ImageUntitled by Kevin Byrnes, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Kevin Byrnes, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Kevin Byrnes, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Kevin Byrnes, on Flickr

I climbed up the very steep bank back to the road and after smashing my way out through bramble bushes I noticed a plastic road sign lying in the grass, I lifted this and was pleased to find a young Fire salamander hiding beneath.

ImageUntitled by Kevin Byrnes, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Kevin Byrnes, on Flickr

Leaving here I drove 60 miles east to visit a quarry with Dinosaur footprints crossing the floor, I was rather underwhelmed by this experience and headed for home stopping once again at the picnic area to try and get some better photos of the lizards there.

ImageUntitled by Kevin Byrnes, on Flickr

ImageUntitled by Kevin Byrnes, on Flickr
The rest of the day was spent packing and finishing the beer.
Kevin Byrnes
 
Posts: 172
Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2009 11:44 am
Hometown: Stroud
country: England

Re: Porto

Postby Michal Szkudlarek » Sun Nov 11, 2018 11:48 pm

I loved photos of Chiglossa lusitanica! Have you taken photos of their habitat?
User avatar
Michal Szkudlarek
 
Posts: 1092
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2011 12:09 pm
Location: Poland
Hometown: ...
country: Poland

Re: Porto

Postby Jeroen Speybroeck » Mon Nov 12, 2018 2:27 pm

You kind of drove to Scotland but still called the trip 'London', but any trip with a Chio in it is worth it! ;)
Jeroen Speybroeck
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3159
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 10:18 am
Hometown: Merelbeke
country: Belgium

Re: Porto

Postby Kevin Byrnes » Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:56 pm

:lol: well said Jeroen, I guess that's kind of how it was, I was based in Porto and intended to herp that area as well but the weather was rubbish and time was short.
Michal, I only took one photo of the habitat and it came out a bit blurred so I left it out of the original but here it is.
Image065 by Kevin Byrnes, on Flickr
Kevin Byrnes
 
Posts: 172
Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2009 11:44 am
Hometown: Stroud
country: England

Re: Porto

Postby Bobby Bok » Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:03 pm

Looks like a fun short trip, can't wait to go myself next month :)
User avatar
Bobby Bok
 
Posts: 954
Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2010 7:11 pm
Hometown: Heemskerk
country: Netherlands

Re: Porto

Postby Mike Brown » Mon Nov 26, 2018 9:20 pm

You did well to see Ocellated Lizard so late in the year Kevin!
Mike Brown
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 2:11 am
Hometown: Liverpool
country: England


Return to Iberian peninsula

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

cron