RAUK - Archived Forum - basker on sleeper

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basker on sleeper:

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will
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Joined: 27 Feb 2007
No. of posts: 330


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Posted: 01 Aug 2009
Just back from the annual week's pilgrimage to Dorset, with some great weather for reptile watching (sun and cloud, 18-19 deg).  The highlight was this small gravid female smooth snake found basking in the open on a railway sleeper in Purbeck.  I had read about this behaviour from Tony but never seen it myself - made my holiday !







arvensis
Senior Member
Joined: 15 Mar 2006
No. of posts: 445


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Posted: 02 Aug 2009

Nice pics Will, what else did you see whilst you were down there?

Mark


Hampshire Amphibian and Reptile Group.
will
Senior Member
Joined: 27 Feb 2007
No. of posts: 330


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Posted: 02 Aug 2009
Hi Mark

Managed all 6 at Studland including a small smooth snake traversing from one patch of heather to the next.  I'll post some more pics soon

Cheers

Will

AGILIS
Senior Member
Joined: 27 Feb 2007
No. of posts: 694


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Posted: 03 Aug 2009
good pics keith
   LOCAL ICYNICAL CELTIC ECO WARRIOR AND FAILED DRUID
dave fixx
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Joined: 13 Mar 2007
No. of posts: 319


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Posted: 03 Aug 2009
cant stop looking at these pics,going to have to try and persuade one of you nice people to show me some of your wonderfull smooth snakes next year.Thanks for the pics Will.
Dave Williams
davewilliamsphotography.co.uk
will
Senior Member
Joined: 27 Feb 2007
No. of posts: 330


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Posted: 03 Aug 2009
Thanks Keith / Dave - I was lucky with this smoothy Dave; generally I find them very hard to spot in the open, especially fully exposed like this one.  You'd think a buzzard / kestrel etc would pick them off with no trouble.
armata
Forum Specialist
Joined: 05 Apr 2006
No. of posts: 928


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Posted: 06 Aug 2009
Will, was this at Furzebrook rail? I used to find four females regular on one stretch will check my photo Ids may know that female.
'I get my kicks on Route 62'
armata
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Joined: 05 Apr 2006
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Posted: 11 Aug 2009
Thanks for the PM Will

This female was first recorded in 1994 and was then just over 35cm. Points of ID, note the extended parallel stripes behind the head, the six 'bars' before the paired markings.

In 1998 the scar you can see in the second photo app 15cm on the lateral part of the body was open and fresh. I last saw her in 2003 and in the same place as you describe.
In past years she was often in company with another female, sometimes coiled together.

She did not breed in 2003 but bred in 1998, 2000. She did not breed in 2001/2002.
'I get my kicks on Route 62'
will
Senior Member
Joined: 27 Feb 2007
No. of posts: 330


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Posted: 11 Aug 2009
Hi Tony

Fantastic to have such intimate knowledge Tony - I feel privileged to have spotted her.  Nice to know she's about to produce a new litter of young ones !

- basker on sleeper

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