Lizarding in France

Lest anyone forget I’m here to work and I’ve been busy! Yes I post about the fun but I’m also doing a lot of reading, writing and brainstorming! Today I went to the “Parc Régional de Camargue” at the southern outlet of the Rhône river. It’s a beautiful delta with lots of islands and some of it, from pictures, resembled the Mediterranean scrub habitats I’m looking for, so I drove around giving it a look.

I was navigating for a while based upon a drawn cartoony map of the park. While good for place names it was lousy for actual directions. On my first attempt, I overshot the park and ended up at a beach. Well, let me be more specific. It was actually a several mile long stretch of sand dune filled with people in campers, tents, RVs, even makeshift shacks all partying on the beach… On a Sunday morning. The pictures don’t do it justice but there were hundreds of RVs parked along this stretch and thousands of people out and about including one person getting around on a kite-propelled dune buggy.

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I pulled myself away though it did look fun and found my way to the park. Much to my surprise many of the islands I saw from the map are actually used as rice paddies and in some parts salt- farming.

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The red isn’t actually pollution, it’s microorganisms that are giving the many flamingos in the area their pink color!

Undaunted by the less than ideal conditions I went to the nature station. It was really nice with dioramas inside and trails with bird blinds out.

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Bird blind.

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The nature station.

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One of the trails.

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I saw two of these guys, larger than housecats!

As you can tell from the pictures, this area isn’t going to it the bill for my research though after several hours of looking I did find two new species for me! One, the ocellated lizard was almost a foot long (including the tail!). I’ll show you pictures when I get them uploaded. He was too fast for my iPhone.

All in all the park is a great spot for avian herpetofauna, but, much to my dismay, likely isn’t going to be what I want for my dissertation. I’ll just have to come back with a birder in tow for a visit!

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One thought on “Lizarding in France

  1. You might have to twist your mum’s arm! hahahaha. France and birding I am sure she would be willing to make the sacrifice!!

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