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Kogia View Drop Down
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    Posted: 15 May 2012 at 9:56am
Hi all, wasn't quite sure where to put my first post, but plumped for the smooth snake as that's what my search focus is mostly on now, my apologies if this isn't in the correct place or suitable content.
 
I'm a zoologist and did a short stint as an ecological surveryor here a few years ago, but I've just recently returned to the UK after living abroad where I really got into herping, so I'm fairly new to UK herp habits. I am now recording and reporting everything I find to local ARGs and thought it might be nice to chat to other herpers.
 
I'm currently living in Hertfordshire, but have been driving down to Surrey a bit to scout out their more varied herp possibilities and although I try not to turn wildlife watching into listmania, I am now very keen to spot some smooth snakes and natterjack toads.
 
If anyone in the Herts/London/Surrey/ Essex areas is heading out anytime and fancies having a green tagalong (I do tred quietly).... I was about to say where I was heading tomorrow, but then thought that might be fowned upon due to species protection?
 
all the best
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote will Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 May 2012 at 6:49am
Hi Kogia and welcome to the forum.  I'd recommend SARG as your starting point for the reptiles of Surrey, but you probably know about them anyway.  They'd be your best way into seeing smooth snakes and natterjacks and being properly trained etc so perhaps ultimately getting a survey licence.  The newly formed Hertforshire ARG would also be a good place to find like-minded locals.  Let us know what you find on your trips!
Cheers
Will
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kogia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 May 2012 at 7:32pm
Thanks Will,
 
I have already contacted Herts ARG and hopefully will be doing something with them soon, I haven't yet contacted Surrey ARG because we live a good 90 mins drive away round the M25, so I wasn't sure I'd be able to offer them anything reliable, but maybe I should anyway. I have posted my sightings so far on their website though.
 
No smooth snakes yet, but we haven't really been able to put the hours in the last week or so. Next week we're off to Dorset for a few days camping, so fingers crossed for that.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vicar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2012 at 8:24pm
Thomas; drop me an email: steve@surrey-arg.org.uk
Steve Langham - Chairman    
Surrey Amphibian & Reptile Group
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kogia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 May 2012 at 3:42pm

Hi Steve, thanks I sent you an email a few days back.

 

Just got back from a few delightfully sunny days tramping around multiple heaths near Poole in Dorset, the Purbeck Hills area really is a beautiful part of the UK.

 

With no licenses for any herps we avoided any of the refugia we noticed and that perhaps hampered our findings, maybe being slightly overly paranoid at the risk of disturbance fines we weren't even turning over any natural debris, so we were really relying on stealth and luck. For 4 full days of searching, with bleary-eyed 5am starts, our findings were not great in numbers, but we did have some surprising luck on the last day.

 

We didn't even see the likely rustle of a lizard, not even a whisper of an agilis, I can't pretend I wasn't a little disappointed at not seeing any lizards at all. I also really expected to see adders but again we frustratingly didn't find a single one, no amphibians of any kind either. We did however find one hissing grass snake that sped off before I could get any photos, a couple of slow worms and then we had the extreme luck of stumbling on a smooth snake on the path. Then to finish off we bizarrely managed to spot 3 more smooth snakes on the final day! Having only seen adders twice before I’ve now seen more wild smooth snakes than adders.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AGILIS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Aug 2012 at 9:39pm
Hi Thomas sadly having days of nil sightings can also be down to weather conditions ie to hot or cold apart from being in the wrong area,I would classify myself as a experienced spotter of smooth snakes and sand lizards and all the rest of herps,but have been doing it since my early teens when ever that was and can still have a blank day you are going down the right path in contacting Steve Langton he will put you straight about the Surrey animals and Will is very experianced for the Purbeck areas, best of luck in you searches if you need a bit of help on sou west areas to look in Purbeck give me a look in private messages keith

Edited by AGILIS - 20 Aug 2012 at 7:12am
   LOCAL ICYNICAL CELTIC ECO WARRIOR AND FAILED DRUID
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