Hidden behind the Almeria greenhouse belt, by Europe’s giant plastic agriculture, the peninsula of Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata-Níjar in eastern Andalusia is a world of its own. Formed by Miocene volcanic activities, with impressive lava rocks, a spectacular unspoiled coastline, an arid semi-desert with very few human settlements. This minimalistic landscape is reduced to elementary components like rocks, grass, sea, and clouds.
In consequence, a naturalist will focus on details: Small flowers may appear as a miracle and every single lizard encounter is quite exciting.
In early spring this area shows its very own flora and fauna. Of course, due to the limited natural resources reptile density is rather low, but anyhow, 5 Lacertid species can be encountered here.
During our stay in early March, 2023, the weather was good, in general, although strong winds turned out counterproductive sometimes. And once more, we experienced that taking in-situ shots of the shy Sierra Nevada Ocellated Lizard (Timon nevadensis) is virtually impossible. But all in all, we had splendid times between the lonely mountains and vast sandy beaches. A good choice for the season opening!
Here is what we have found – enjoy the light of the South!
In March 2023, we were too late to see the rare Androcymbium europaeum, a small plant which flowers in winter. Another stay end of January 2024 turned fruitful. Although it was extremely dry, we saw numerous interesting plants. Another beautiful week with even some winter lizards!