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1st Grassie of 2007

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Robert V View Drop Down
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    Posted: 09 Mar 2007 at 3:06pm

Hi all,

Yesterday, north EF, 12 O clock, barely 12 -13 deg in full sun, not a breath of wind, green woodpecker chastising me for half an hour while I stood and watched my first grassie of 2007.

But anyone thinking Nn fresh from Hibo are slow, forget it. I tried to swing my camera bag around my shoulder as slow as a snail and she was off....... for your info Jon, I'd say she was about 3 foot but thick set. Liked your pics of the GCN by the way.

Cheers

R

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Peter Vaughan View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Peter Vaughan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Mar 2007 at 3:36pm

Saw my first Grass Snake of the year today at my local site.  Just one animal - and that was just a long grey tail rapidly disappearing under a bush, they move much faster than Adders.  I arrived at the site at 14:00 (having been looking for Adders elsewhere, more about that on another thread..) so possibly there had been more out earlier in the day.  It was warm - pushing 16C, with a stong breeze and, according to the local weather station, only 32% RH.  As last year, and the year before, the appearance of these snakes corresponded to the first good day of the spring for butterflies - with my first sightings of Brimstone, Comma and Peacock butterflies for the year.  Another indication was that it was too warm to wear a fleece!

Happy hunting, Peter

Peter 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Peter Vaughan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Mar 2007 at 5:19pm

Hmmm... scope for a paper in a learned journal on the correlation between the vestments needed by an observer to keep him warm and the observed incidence of reptiles.  Conclusions -

1.  Hot countries (i.e. string vest and corked hat territories) have richer observed herpetofauna.

2.  In Studland being a naturist offers the best chance of seeing Sand Lizards?

Peter

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Suzi View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suzi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Mar 2007 at 6:23pm
Originally posted by Peter Vaughan Peter Vaughan wrote:

2.  In Studland being a naturist offers the best chance of seeing Sand Lizards?

Peter

I would add that at Studland you just don't now what you'll find in the heather, dressed or undressed - unless things have changed!

Suz
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Robert V View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Robert V Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Mar 2007 at 3:59pm

 

Suz,

it's not called 'studland' without reason lol.

I couldn't believe the first time I ever went there not really knowing about all that. I thought I had got off at the wrong planet when I'd set my tripod up to get a few shots of sand lizards and lo and behold two blokes walked passed in the you-know-what!

The Aussies are not the only ones to have Red-backs. ha

R

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herpetologic2 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote herpetologic2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Mar 2007 at 6:30pm

Look out for double mating in Grassies this year - spring and autumn

 

Regards

 

JC

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Robert V View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Robert V Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Mar 2007 at 5:14am

Tony,

hahahahahaha, good one ,but aww yuk!

When I was there, I think it may have been too hot for Adders, it was utterly scorching by 11 O clock. Any way, by then, i sort of got the drift as to where I'd placed myself so made an exit sharpish lol.

Jon,

I'm out today scouring for mating couples....... no grass snakes of course. I must say the wind at 3mph... great, it looks promising. 6 footers here I come!

R

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote herpetologic2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Mar 2007 at 7:08am

I will be out at my local farm later this morning - you aint gotta chance mate with these water cress grassies........

 

Jon

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote herpetologic2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Mar 2007 at 4:00pm

Hurray I found my first grassie of the year in a completely new place...

I also have the wounds to prove it - I had to dive into a bramble thicket. I am surveying my local farm and last year I found the grassies in their summer feeding grounds - so following a hunch I have started transects along suitable wintering sites - hedgerows, banks and small woodland areas

I was walking back from my last transect and I heard a rustle in the small woodland I was passing - sure enough a lovely male grass snake

While sorting out my camera I heard another rustle - a second grassie in the same place.....in I go again to catch the second

I think that this animal is a female - they were not big enough for the comp Rob - and I also left my measuring stick behind

But I am sure that this site is the overwintering site for these two animals......

 

More to come soon (pics etc)

 

Jon

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Robert V Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Mar 2007 at 5:58am

Hi all,

Has anyone else noticed the extraordinary high water table levels this spring?

From my own point of view, this seems to have flooded many of the rabbit warrens that the Grass Snakes use to hibernate. Do you think that this may have caused moratlity during hibernation as my numbers of sightings so far are definitely down this year???

Then again, I haven't seen any toads yet, so maybe just missed them!

Cheers,

Rob

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