Portugal again, part II
A little off the coast you will find some cork oak forests with stone walls. This beautiful landscape is a precious habitat for reptiles. During our first trip in this region back in November 2020, we found an impressive Montpellier Snake. This time we discovered another snake species, which we had not seen before: a stunning Red-eyed Grass Snake (Natrix astreptophora).
Near a pond we also saw some amphibians. Besides the abundant water frog we were happy about the sighting of Natterjack Toad (Epidalea calamita). The Algerian Sand Racer (Psammodromus algirus) is common in the Algarve, but most of the time it is very difficult to photograph this shy and fast lizard. Also common but slightly less shy is the Moorish Gecko (Tarentola mauritanica), we saw some of them basking on the rocks.
When it was very rainy again, we obviously looked for amphibians again. On the way to the fire salamander habitat, where we had been very successful last time, we already met the first animals on the road. We brought them to safety and took a few quick photos of some of them, before we arrived at the actual destination. Not surprisingly, the Fire Salamanders were also active and we saw several specimens.
Beach excursions and reptile searching continued to alternate, though the weather was not always particularly good for either. Besides some sunny sections, we had to deal with a lot of wind and rain. Nevertheless, we still had a nice and quite successful time. The discovery of a Ladder Snake (Zamenis scalaris) and a young Ocellated Lizard (Timon lepidus) surely were the highlights of our last days in Portugal. Also we found our first Mediterranean Tree Frog (Hyla meridionalis) and a really pretty Southern Smooth Snake (Coronella girondica).