With my friend Maud, we decided to pass few days in basque Pyrenees and north of Spain between April 27th and May 2nd.
Sunday, April 27
For the first day, we stopped at the first montains of Pyrenees for some herpetologic researches, at the limit between France and Spain. We encountered some Podarcis muralis, Anguis fragilis, Lacerta bilineata, Podarcis liolepis, and Zootoca vivipara for reptiles, and Bufo bufo (tadpoles and adults), Rana temporaria (tadpoles) and two Lissotriton helveticus (a female and a male in parade).
To the end of afternoon, we start for another place of Pyrenees for encountering Vipera seoanei and past the night. The weather wasn’t good, but we were able to see one red viper before the night.
When it was night, we started a searching local amphibians. We found a lot of Bufo bufo, Alytes obstetricans, and Rana temporaria. To finish, we found a young Salamandra salamandra fastuosa.
Monday and Tuesday, April 28 – 29:
Because we knew that the weather will not be good in the Pyrenees, we decided to go into Spain, near Sos del Rey and Uncastillo for two days. Before starting, we saved many Bufo bufo which were stuck in a fish trap. Arriving in Spain, we found Chalcides striatus, Psammodromus algirus, Bufo calamita, Pelophylax perezi. We tried to find, but without success, Vipera latastei. Only one big snake which looks like a viper was observed, but not captured, and it wasn’t possible to determine with certitude the species.
Tuesday, April 29:
For the afternoon, we drove near the natural parc of Moncayo, trying to find other species.
This site is very interesting, because you can find Mediterranean species in a mountain environment. In this place, we found Anguis fragilis, Psammodromus algirus, Timon lepidus, and, near a big pond, a lot of Chalcides striatus and Natrix maura. We’ve also seen other interesting animals, like an Empusa pennata and one Wild cat (Felis sylvestris)!
Wednesday, April 30:
For Wednesday, we visited “las bardenas” before return to France. On the road, we stopped in two sites which seemed to be interesting. In effect, we found two big Rhinechis scalaris and the skin of Malpolon monspessulanus.
Thursday and Friday, May 1 and 2:
Returned to the Pyrenees, we attempt to observe Vipera seoanei, with a lot of success: we seen a lot of specimens, male, female, young, with lot of colours (notably a black female).
During Friday, we move near small torrent to observe some Calotriton asper. Before the end of the trip, we also see some Vipera seoanei, Zootoca vivipara, Podarcis muralis, and other common species.
List of species encountered (19):
Vipera latastei ?
Malpolon monspessulanus ‘shed
Salamandra salamandra fastuosa