Around the Pyrenees 2011by GertJan Verspui - 10/8/2011 18h17
This summer we planned to go to the Pyrenees with our old campervan, we left the 16th of July.
About 60 km North of Paris the camper lost power and before we knew it we were standing still...
After a lot of phonecalls and 2 hotel nights, I picked up a rental car south of Paris, to have a good time from here we needed everything that is wish full to have on a vacation with a tent, bought everything at a big supermarket...
20th untill the 23rd of July.
The first area was Aude, a way too expensive campsite on the coast provided the first herps.
In the dunes I found Psammodromus hispanicus, Podarcis liolepis, Tarentola mauritanica and a shed of a Malpolon monspessulanus, Timon lepidus was also supposed to be there, but none was seen this day, during the next I saw 2 who were to fast for the camera(Im getting slow...)
The next day I drove around in the area and found many reasons to smile...
An almost black Chalcides striatus
A few Hyla meridionalis...
Natrix maura surrounded by baby treefrogs.
Green frogs and juvenile Lissotriton helveticus were also seen.
In the evening I visited the dunes again.
24th untill the 29th of July.
In these days we went into the pyrenees and I tried to find the Iberolacerta's.
First stop was in an area where Lacerta agilis lives, only one was seen by me, Podarcis muralis, Rana temporaria, Vipera aspis were also there.
Vipera aspis zinnikeri
The next day I went into a valley to find Iberolacerta aurelioi, it was a bit raining, but I was sure it would change......during the walk I saw many Rana temporaria, Calotriton asper and 1 dead Anguis fragilis.
The weather didnt change, the only thing that changed was my jacket into a gore-tex...
A little frustrated I returned and told the boss that we had to stay so I could return when the weather was improving, meanwhile she had heard a weather forcast and new nothing would change.
Staying was not an option.., so I offered a plan to go to Andorra and take a campsite in one of the valleys there because it's a little more to the south(better weather)...
We did some shopping in Andorra and from that valley it was also possible to go to the Iberolacerta aurelioi site, so I woke up early in the morning and guess what, no cloudes....
I drove to the place where my hike started, this hike was more intensive then the first one, untill I reached the ridge were I went over the mountain, the sky was still almst cloud-free, when I went down on the other site I walked straight into a big rainproducing cloud......
When I reached the site it was still raining, I stayed there for 3 hours and the sun came ones for half a minute.....
On the Andorra side the weather was perfect again.
Perfect spot where an Iberolacerta aurelioi could have been!
Next we went to the Aran valley, during a walk with my doughter we found a huge Bufo bufo, Podarcis muralis and Zootoca vivipara.
From here back to France to see Iberolacerta bonnali, what I also saw in that area were 2 Vipera aspis, Zootoca vivipara, Podarcis muralis.
Vipera aspis zinnikeri
Juvenile Vipera aspis zinnikeri
30th of July untill the 1st of August.
These days were spent in the area around Huesca, on the road towards there we stopped at a creek that was almost dry, lots of Alytes obstetricans tadpoles were seen there.
Tiny Alytes obstetricans
Around the campsite were Pelophylax perezi, Natrix maura and Podarcis liolepis.
The next 2 days were spent in the Pyrenees again, close to St Jean Pied de Port.
Species seen here were Bufo bufo, Alytes obstetricans, Salamandra salamandra, Podarcis muralis, Vipera seaonei, Lissotriton helveticus, Rana temporaria, Calotriton asper, dor Coronella austriaca, tadpole of the Rana pyrenaica and Zootoca vivipara.
DOR Coronella austriaca
Tadpole of Rana pyrenaica
2nd untill the 4th of August.
We stayed on a nice campsite on the Sierra de Urbasa.
camping podarcis muralis
the same with his girl
The last few days we went to a region halfway France, La Brenne, I've been here when I was young and after seeing the last report from Jeroen, Wouter and Bobby I thought this could be a good area to spent the last days.
Juvenile Lacerta bilineata
Pelophylax kl. esculentus
Headlight on and a Bufo calamita which she found herself
Vipera aspis aspis
Now its time to go home and look into the campervan-problems!!!!!!!
This trip would not have been possible without the help of Peter O. and Jeroen S.
LIST OF OBSERVATIONS.
* Alytes obstetricans
* Bombina variegata
* Bufo bufo
* Bufo calamita
* Calotriton asper
* Discoglossus pictus
* Hyla arborea
* Hyla meridionalis
* Lissotriton helvetica
* Pelodytes punctatus
* Pelophylax perezi
* Pelophylax kl. esculentus
* Rana dalmatina
* Rana pyrenaica
* Rana temporaria
* Salamandra salamandra
* Anguis fragilis
* Chalcides striatus
* Coronella austriaca (2 dor)
* Emys orbicularis
* Iberolacerta aranica
* Iberolacerta bonnali
* Lacerta agilis
* Lacerta bilineata
* Malpolon monspessulanus
* Natrix maura
* Natrix natrix
* Podarcis liolepis
* Podarcis muralis
* Podarcis pityusensis
* Psammodromus algirus
* Psammodromus hispanicus
* Rhinechis scalaris
* Tarentola mauritanica
* Timon lepidus
* Vipera aspis
* Vipera seoanei
* Zootoca vivipara