Lizards beat the Germans in the race for a top tan

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It’s not just the Germans who get the prime sunbathing spots – lizards in a north Northumberland nature reserve have sussed out the best place to bask.

Dozens of common lizards have been heading to the windowsill of Northumberland Wildlife Trust’s Wader Viewing Hide on its Hauxley nature reserve to soak up the rays.

Common lizards are not normally seen in the bird hides around Druridge Bay, but can be spotted in the dunes where they like to remain hidden.

However, the hide’s massive glass window has effectively turned it into a huge greenhouse – too hot for humans to endure for more than a few minutes, but perfect for the cold-blooded reptiles.

Alex Lister, Northumberland Wildlife Trust’s Druridge Bay estates officer, said: “Forget basking sharks, we have basking lizards!

“It’s really funny watching them jostling for position on the windowsill; those that don’t get a spot have to make do with the walls, where it’s just as hot.

“If this continues, they’ll be turning up earlier in the morning to put their towels down, to secure their place.

“Anybody wanting to have a look needs to open the door to the hide very carefully for they are very quick – one sudden noise and you won’t see them for dust.”

Common lizards are protected; it is an offence to kill, harm or injure them, sell or trade them in any way.