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st rick
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Posted: 25 Feb 2008 Topic: WHAT NO MORE 2008 SLOWORMS



I hadn't realised my Feb 9th sighting at Burnham Beeches was such a rarity.   When do we expect the Grassies to really get going?


st rick
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Posted: 25 Feb 2008 Topic: HAVE WE A PROBLEM HERE?



Yes, it makes a change to see young and enthusiastic folk on this forum.  And they said it was just miserable old gits droning on about how things ain't what they used to be back in the old days......

I have no idea how Baby Sue gets here icons to do those things?





st rick
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Posted: 25 Feb 2008 Topic: HAVE WE A PROBLEM HERE?




Cheers!    OK,  now I know how you do it   but it was a long and complicated process and I'm not so sure I can do it all the time   I shall use this one on the grumpy old folks though   and this one is bound to come in handy





st rick
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Posted: 25 Feb 2008 Topic: DESTRUCTIoN OF HABITAT BY TIDYING UP



Yes, Will took a great picture there.  Is the brown adder on the left male or female?  As Gemma mentions elsewhere, it's very early to see a female laying out.





st rick
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Posted: 26 Apr 2006 Topic: This snake in SW Australia



Before anyone freaks out I didn't see this one in Kensington Gardens but in sand dunes near the town of Albany in Western Australia.

I am pretty sure it is either a dugite or a tiger snake, the two commonest species in the area.  It has the colouration of a Tiger snake, but the head was quite small and the overall length (about 1.3 metres) quite large.

I have labelled it as a Tiger Snake, but I'm not too sure.  I am pretty sure that it is an extemely venemous species.

http://www.trailjournals.com/photos.cfm?id=118304




st rick
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Posted: 01 May 2006 Topic: This snake in SW Australia



Thanks Lee, I'll post this question on the site you mentioned.

 

Yes, after my initial Tiger Snake ID I started to wonder.  This snake actually had the yellowy underside of the tigers snake that is just about visible in the picture, but the size of the head, length and general slenderness seems wrong. 

On reflectiion, I think my 1.3 metre assessment is conservative.  It was longer than this and closer to 2 metres than one, which would make for a big tiger.  I know that dugites are very dark in this part of WA, but they are generally a light snake.  It's really confusing when snakes 'borrow' the colouration of their main rival, however...

 

Thanks for the advice.

 

 




st rick
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Posted: 26 Jul 2006 Topic: Frensham Common



Is Frensham Common really the best place to see Grass Snakes?  If so is it away from the 2 main ponds that people spot them?  I found it quite hard to patrol the perimeter of the latter, except on the beach areas.

I was also put off the big pond by the horrendous amount of litter laying around.  It didn't feel like a spot I wanted to go back to. 

Last Tuesday I spotted quite a large grassie sunning itself at 8.30  at night in the well known pond by the car park at Thursley.  This was after the terrible fire.  I wondered if all the snakes in the area had made a beeline for it as the only safe refuge from the flames, but loads of searching failed to throw up another one.

What are the best hot tips for grass snake spotting in Surrey? 

 

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st rick
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Posted: 01 Aug 2006 Topic: Frensham Common



Vicar, the devastation at Thursley is bad, but not as catastrophic as first reported:  I understand that 60% of the reserve is fire damaged, rather than 90%.

The wet area bisected by the boardwalk, close to the Moat, doesn't seem too bad.  Most of the boardwalk seems to have escaped unscathed.  I didn't walk to its end as Thursley was officially closed when I last went there and I didn't want to get in the way of the authorities:  there was still an emergency camp of fire crew camping out on the village green, and the hydrants were still being tapped and embers smouldering even 5 days after the blaze started.

However, things seem much worse on the other side of the reserve and even the road that connects the Moat to the village is burned right up to the tarmac in places:  the whole areas was evacuated.

I'm not local to the area, but anyone who is can provide more up to date information.  The event has been a huge catastrophe.  Does anyone know if this was the most Northerly site where Smooth Snakes and Sand lizards were to be found?

 

 

 




st rick
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Posted: 22 Mar 2007 Topic: my gecko (leopard)



I always thought this was a small species - that looks enormous!


st rick
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Posted: 23 Mar 2007 Topic: RAUK field trip



Hi Steve/Jon

I'm down for the Training Day on April 21st but would also like to come on the field trip on the 7th. 

At the moment I'm herpetologically-challenged in terms of the scientific method of field research, but would appreciate the experience of getting to Lightwater and helping any way I can.  I've realised it's one of the closest heaths to where I live in W. London and am planning on making a visit very soon anyway and could do with a few pointers.  In the past, I used to press on down to Thursley where I had some limited success in locating reptiles.  Unfortunately, most of the spots at Thursley are no longer, as we all know.   Lightwater/Chobham is much more accessible.

If, however, Steve/Jon feel this is a case of carts before horses, I'm willing to hold off 'til the 22nd.

Cheers

Rick

 

 

 

 

 

 




st rick
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Posted: 30 Mar 2007 Topic: Hitting the Mother Lode!



I had a great day yesterday when finally I managed to track down an
aggregation of 5 adders:á 1 female andá4 male, I think, at Lightwater in
Surrey.


I have been hanging around this forum for a while, but so far had little
luck locatingásnakes by myself, just one stray adder last year during the
heatwave at Thursley in an area now severely burnt and a grass snake at a
nearby location.


I take it that I have stumbled across a site close to a winter hibernicula
and that these snakes will disperse as April progresses?á Does this mean
that all the animals will vacate the premises, or are there always some
more idle than the rest who like to hang around?


I'd like to thank everyone here for all the info, tips, leads (but not
specific sites) that I've picked up from this forum.áá The knowledge has
been invaluable, even if I was starting to think that if I surveyed another
Southerly facing bank on Surrey heathland fruitlessly, then I would go
crazy!


á


á


á


á


á


á


á


á

st rick39171.8294675926


st rick
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Joined: 26 Apr 2006
No. of posts: 141


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Posted: 24 Apr 2007 Topic: Are sloworms related to skinks?



I remember coming across a Glass Lizard nearly 20 years ago in Corfu and it gave me quite a shock.  It looked like a Slow Worm that had been genetically modified by an evil Scientist and grown to about 3.5 feet long.


st rick
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Posted: 25 Apr 2007 Topic: High concentration of grass snakes



Clare

Thanks for the tip

And I thought Vicar knew every single grass snake spot in Surrey - if not every single grass snake.  Shame on you, Steve

st rick39197.7446296296


st rick
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Posted: 25 Apr 2007 Topic: grass snake spotting



You need to look for ponds, canals and slow flowing rivers that are surrounded by suitable cover.  This needs to be in the general area of the water, not just a straggly bit around the edge.  They like overgrown water meadows, but also gorse and bracken.  As the latter is dead at this time of the year they are easier to spot. 

It is best that you go to a specific site where grassies are known to exist rather than than just looking generally.  I went 35 years without seeing a grass snake, but now I seem to see them all the time.  Today I saw 3 big ones - in Watford!

Good luck.




st rick
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Posted: 25 Apr 2007 Topic: The common names game



blue-tongued lizard


st rick
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Posted: 30 Mar 2007 Topic: Hitting the Mother Lode!



Thanks for the feedback.

I will definitely be back to view this site. I was very excited to find it for a
number of reasons, not least because it's much closer to where I live in
West London than the destinations further South that I used to make for.
I guess because places like Thursley and Hankley are larger and have a
more remote feel, I assumed they would automatically be bettter sites
than Lightwater which, after all, is just off the motorway.

I had no idea that you could track down the 'big six' so close to the M25!

Tony, from what you were saying on another thread about Lightwater
Smooth Snakes and the M3 widening, I think this site is probably very
close to the area you were working in. I must keep an eye out for those
smoothies.

I suppose a little local knowledge goes a long way when spotting herps.
it's a bit like watching badgers which I used to do a lot when I lived near
Bath. If you know where the setts/hibernicula are it makes the whole
process much easier than running around like a headless chicken.st rick39171.8286574074


st rick
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Posted: 05 Apr 2007 Topic: Adder 2007!



Nice work James.  Looks like some big Adders you got there, were you in Surrey?


st rick
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Posted: 06 Apr 2007 Topic: RAUK field trip



Hi

I am also intending to come to LCP tomorrow as I indicated some time ago.  It will be great to put faces to names and I'm sure I'll learn a lot.  I am interested to discover if the VB hiberniculum I came across a couple of weeks ago is also on anybody elses list.

Rick




st rick
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Posted: 06 Apr 2007 Topic: Sand Lizard Identification and Sightings



I found a sand lizard today at a site on private land close to Hankley Common in Surrey.  Trouble is, looks as if the landowner has begun excavating this superb reptile bank for sand, although these excavations were at the other end from where I spotted the sand lizard. 

I'd like to know if the conservation status of sand lizards and smooth snakes offers them special protection from the activities of landowners even if they are on private land.

In addition, I also came across 4 slow worms and a grass snake on this site and the rustlings in the reeds indicated the presence of two more, though these weren't spotted.

st rick39178.7240972222


st rick
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Posted: 07 Apr 2007 Topic: RAUK Field Trip 7.4.07 - Smooth Snake



know the field trip was to Lightwater, but a few of us went on to Hankley later on where we located this wonderful Smooth Snake.  Thanks Vicar for the tip.

 

 




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