Some 40 lizards have been spotted sunbathing at a Northern Ireland nature reserve after an exceptional summer for the tiny reptiles.
There were 16 newborns among the batch logged at Slievenacloy Nature Reserve in the Belfast hills.
The common lizard is the only reptile native to Ireland.
The lizards have adapted to survive in our cool climate by hatching their eggs internally and giving birth to live young in late summer.
Last year a poor springtime and summer saw a marked drop in the birth rate.
But this year conditions are better, leading to the larger numbers spotted by volunteer Philip McErlean.
“During the summer, there is a great boost to numbers, with lots of little dark-coloured, baby lizards making an appearance, ” told Philip.
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