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Jonathan
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Joined: 08 Sep 2009
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Posted: 08 Sep 2009 Topic: Intro



Good evening,  thought I'd introduce myself.  I've recently left the forces after 18 years and settling back to civvy life.  Ideal time to catch up with my old interests and maybe point my career in that area once more.  I've been an amateur herper since I was 13 (26 years) and used to keep many exotic species before my career took me to away and I had to sell and give away to other collections.  The keeping part is something I have no intention of starting again as my views towards captive animals has changed enormously since my teen years.

I have always spent spare time surveying my local area (right on the W. Mids, South Staffs and Worcs border) right since I was 13 ( and was bitten at 15  ).  I have witnessed the effects of far too extensive heath maintenance being undertaken too quickly and too extensively. This destroyed the best grounds for adders and two hibernacula, and I've seen the population plummet dramatically over the last five years, and it is still in rapid decline due to the grazing of cows on the small isolated area.  The best sights now for Vb are now two much smaller isolation of heath within the area, which are as we speak, facing the same extensive 'maintenance' techniques, including a new gravel path straight through prime basking sites.

Hopefully next year I'll start the season with the intention of sharing this knowledge of the area that I've picked up over these years with whoever surveys the location, and maybe help out if needed. 

Good to see some very familiar names on here.  Bout time Tony got that adder book published, I remember talking to him about that in 1986 .  South Africa eh?  Seems like a very good idea the way things are going here.

Jonathan40064.8865972222


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Jonathan
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Posted: 08 Sep 2009 Topic: Loss of service



I've been reading every thread on here for the last three days.  I never noticed a problem.  Maybe it was my frantic scrolling and clicking that caused it to implode .


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Jonathan
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Posted: 08 Sep 2009 Topic: births ?



Two gravid females by me still to give birth.  All the other females that are out basking that I've seen in the last two weeks, bar one (out of seven) have recently eaten large rodents and are reluctant to move except when there are cows near.  Only seen two neos, but these are away from the females and closer to the only two males I've seen. 


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Jonathan
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Posted: 09 Sep 2009 Topic: Intro



[QUOTE=AGILIS] Hi Jonathon welcome I am one of the anti tidy the heath up moaners keith [/QUOTE]

 

That's not moaning, it's constructive criticism




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Jonathan
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Posted: 09 Sep 2009 Topic: Intro



Hi Tony, blimey, yeah, the IHS.  Now that does bring back a few memories.  We used to meet at the Cotwall End Nature Centre not too far from me.  Actually though, apart from that, you had a chat with me about adders when I was down in Poole.  My dad was based around there, so we used to make it down quite often when he was on leave.  Looks like Summer has finally arrived here too, very hot.

Now when is that Berus book of yours hitting the shelves?

Cheers Dave, big 40 next year  .

Jonathan40065.6944675926


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Jonathan
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Posted: 09 Sep 2009 Topic: Egg laying sites



There is a sight not too far from me along the canal that has a huge rotting silver birch tree in a ditch.  I've been collecting the birch polypore off there for the last couple of years for bushcrafty stuff and last year (September) found old hatched eggshells in the punk on the side facing away from the tow path.  I've not had chance to check it out this year, but as this thread has spurred my memory I'll make a point of it in the next few days.


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Jonathan
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Posted: 10 Sep 2009 Topic: LARK HEAD SLUICE SUFFOLK



Sweet.  I was going to check my local grassie sight which is only 5 mins away, but due to the weather didn't bother.  Excellent result there though.


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Jonathan
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Posted: 10 Sep 2009 Topic: LARK HEAD SLUICE SUFFOLK



Tim, that is one fat adder.  I'm going out tomorrow to see if my regular two late droppers have.. er... dropped .

I need to get a decent camera.  Plenty of neos up here, hopefully I can get some decent pics for you.




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Jonathan
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Posted: 10 Sep 2009 Topic: Mendip Snakes



Good God, they are really bright, in almost Spring colours.  All the males up here look haggered and like dirty dark females.


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Jonathan
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Posted: 13 Sep 2009 Topic: Not a care in the world.



This little fella was basking right in the centre of a tin today.  Despite getting really close with the camera and taking umpteen pictures of him, he refused to move.  He was very alert.  Half an hour later I walked past again and he was still there, following my movements with his head.  Loads of corvids about so I ushered him into the undergrowth.  On the way home an hour later, he was back .  I wish him luck.




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Jonathan
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Posted: 13 Sep 2009 Topic: Not a care in the world.



[QUOTE=herpetologic2]I suspect that 'she' is dicing with death lol

Jon[/QUOTE]

I didn't want to make that assumption as the attitude and cavalier approach to life was very bloke-like  , plus chivalry is not dead and I'd have to wait till sundown, hook in hand to protect her.

I will check up on the area tomorrow and hopefully report feminine wiles rein supreme  .




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Jonathan
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Posted: 15 Sep 2009 Topic: Not a care in the world.



Well he/she was back there again this morning.  I'll get some better pics next time I go.  Don't really want to pick it up to make a positive ID as I hate picking neos up. 


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Jonathan
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Posted: 16 Sep 2009 Topic: The Rabbit, Stoat & Adder



It sounds like the puncture marks where from the stoat and the bite pattern you describe is pretty much spot on for a stoat bite.  I'd say that you caught the stoat in the act of catching its prey and it had got a bite on it and was holding firm until it could get the chance to reposition for the final blow.  The adder was probably just minding it's own business and had nothing to do with it all.

If you email me the pictures, I'll host them for you.  The answer is all in the bite mark.




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Jonathan
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Posted: 17 Sep 2009 Topic: The Rabbit, Stoat & Adder



Definately looks like a stoat bite.  The lower teeth of an adder are pretty much all uniform and there is no pronounced two lower teeth that could ever cause such a bite mark or radius like that.  They are also very very small and unlikely to puncture a rabbits skin through fur.  In fact even a full strike on bare skin would still only show puncture marks from the two upper venom fangs.  A double strike by the adder could be possible of course, but the two bite marks would be indentical, so this is highly doubtful.  Like you say, everything is pointing towards the stoat as the culprit, who was probably thrown off his plan by tehm disturbing the adder and some serious stroppy adder hissing or even a strike unnerving him somewhat.

Interesting story though, I love stuff like this.  Thankyou very much for bringing it up.

Jonathan40073.6441203704


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Jonathan
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Posted: 18 Sep 2009 Topic: ANOTHER DISCARDED PET ?



I hate to think how many non native reptiles have been dumped in the wild.  There seems to be one a wek on various foums


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Jonathan
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Posted: 19 Sep 2009 Topic: zoinks!!!



Looks like the snake has eaten a lizard and the lizard has managed to fight it's way out the hard way before suffocating


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Jonathan
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Posted: 20 Sep 2009 Topic: Not a care in the world.



He is always there.  I've seen him three times this week.  I lay on the grass with my chin resting in my hands to get in close and have a good look, his head whipped around really quick to see whats going on, few tongue flicks and he's back in position.  He has no fear at all.  There are a couple more basking nearby on top of some spagnum moss, and they are deffo female without question.  They were also off in aflash when my shadow passed over them.  Anyway, back to braveheart, his tail is really long, so I go with Tony and co on the male theory.  When I put him back on his tin, he just coiled around himself and went back to loafing again.  He's an idiot!! 


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Jonathan
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Posted: 20 Sep 2009 Topic: Hampshire frog



It's a Common frog. The colours can vary quite alot, especially this time of year. Earlier in the season, they are all drab and boring.Jonathan40076.9368402778


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Jonathan
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Posted: 21 Sep 2009 Topic: Hampshire frog



It is a remarkably beautiful frog,s omething that is missed when we refer to it as a 'Common' frog.  Some examples look like they came from an exotic rainforest on the other side of the orld.


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Jonathan
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Posted: 21 Sep 2009 Topic: Response to habitat fragmentation



[QUOTE=Vicar]Time of year will also be a factor to consider, as males in mate-search mode seem oblivious to pretty much anything, including available cover.
[/QUOTE]

 

Quite true, I watched a male in May 1985 search all around a busy car park next to the heathland, on one occasion I had to step in to stop a car parking on him, my footfall or movement attracted him toward me at great speed.

This location was also at least 200m away from the nearest colony, quite bizaare.

Jonathan40077.8360648148


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