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Paul Ford
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Posted: 15 Mar 2009 Topic: First of the year?



I found 6 today uner one tin:

Yes I know only 5 are in the photo - one was just out of shot.

I can't remember ever seeing more than two under the same piece of tin before - has anyone ever seen more than this?!?

Rick/Rob - these were found under one of your tins at Priddy (there were two more basking on top of it as well!) The other two tins drew blanks.

Paul

 




Paul Ford
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Posted: 15 Mar 2009 Topic: Strange behaviour?



Hi Tim,

There were some funny goings on in Priddy today too....

Surely a wet footprint isn't a good place to hide/rest/mate?

And this guy has got it all wrong!

 

 




Paul Ford
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Posted: 06 Sep 2006 Topic: Hello and a question



Hi,

I'm a new member!

I've always been interested in reptiles and amphibians and my favourite by a long way is the grass snake.

I have been on few "herping" expeditions this year - I've travelled miles but not had a lot of success(!)

Although I live in the countryside near Bristol (and have lived here for 13 years) I was under the impression that there were no grass snakes in my local vicinity (despite always looking I have never seen anything) but then whilst out with the dogs yesterday, and only half a mile from my house, I found a baby one squashed on a country lane (poor little fella!).

The area where I found him is littered with paddocks and manure heaps and I would be very interested to know where exactly he hatched out.

I gather that baby grass snakes will have only hatched out recently and will not venture too far from the ""egg sight" which I assume is one of the dung heaps. Does this mean that the nest sight is very close by or could he have travelled a fair old distance?

Thanks

Paul

PS Great forum - It's nice to know that there are other people who are interested and who care!!




Paul Ford
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Posted: 06 Sep 2006 Topic: Hello and a question



Evening Vicar

Looks like there were a couple of sightings there back in 1975!!!

Nice to know they are still around though - I guess I ought to report my sighting.

It would be really nice to track down the egg laying sight though - something to keep an eye on next year.

Paul




Paul Ford
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Posted: 12 Sep 2006 Topic: Hello and a question



Thanks for the advise Gemma.

I have found SIX manure heaps - all possible sites !!??

Many are in paddocks with horses and some very close to the lane so I am slightly worried about placing refugia here for fear of the horses tredding on them and also the snakes being run over - also I haven't come across the paddock owners yet.

I have however tracked down the land owner of the biggest manure heap and rather encouragingly he has seen snakes on this heap before although not for many years.

With his permission I have today laid down some refugia but he did mention that in the next month or two he will be spreading it over his fields - if it is the right sight, and he does it in October or November isn't it likely that there will be some snakes hibernating in it?????




Paul Ford
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Posted: 12 Sep 2006 Topic: Natrix - the longest!



Just read through this for the first time - fascinating!

So have any biggies been found this year?

 

Paul

 




Paul Ford
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Posted: 18 Sep 2006 Topic: Grass Sakes mating in September



Had the day off work today went to the mendips herping and had the best day for years!

 

I saw 7 grass snakes, 5 adders, several lizards and a few slow worms.

 

Two grassies were basking together and I was just thinking how lucky I was to see this when the smaller snake started to slowly move off and then for some reason reversed back. I thought this was a little odd and on closer examination I could bee that they were actually mating!! in September!!!?

 

I did try to get a photo but the faffing around made them disappear.

 

Is this fairly common?

 




Paul Ford
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Posted: 14 Oct 2006 Topic: grass snake eggs



Susan,

Did they hatch?

Paul




Paul Ford
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Posted: 01 Mar 2007 Topic: frogs spawning



Spawn at Last!

Since I can remember the latest date for frogspawn was on or around February the 8th (in Bristol anyway!).

This year then with the mild winter I was expecting it earlier - but the earliest sign of any was the night before last - weird.

Anyway how and why do the frogs in a pond appear to spawn at the same time (ie over a day or two) and in the same spot within the pond?

I have two ponds and one is starting to accumulate spawn in one corner (and nowhere else) and whilst none have spawned in the other pond yet, no doubt when they do it will be all in the same spot!? I also noticed a few single males hanging around the spawn area last night and wondered if they, er, might "help out" in any way?

And whilst I'm noting my observations, I have also seen 15 single male toads hanging around the ponds - I know they are supposed to arrive slightly earlier than the females but no sign of any yet. Interestingly, the males appear almost identical in size and coloration and seem to be staked out around the ponds at an equal distance apart - almost as if each has their own little "territory".

I'll be back out there again with my torch later - haven't seen any Crested Newts yet!

Paul




Paul Ford
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Posted: 02 Mar 2007 Topic: frogs spawning



"I dont think we can get an absolute answer but I suspect that the conditions within that small part of the pond will be optimal for their spawning - I remember in my last pond again the frogs laid within a small patch of a very small pond. The spawn was laid within the shallow, warmer part of the pond - the rays of the morning sun was on this part of the pond."

>> Presumably then the frogs should spawn in the same place each year (assuming the conditions are the same)?

"Your toads have it seems to have staked out a territories - and are they sitting up as if they were looking out for the females?"

>> To be honest they don't appear to be doing anything - 2 are normally out of the pond and I can shine my torch on them, step over them and walk right round the pond and back and they don't move

"If anyone has a pond with lots of frogs paired up but no spawn, and another pond where they've spawned already, it might be interesting to see if moving some spawn to the 'unspawned' pond will set them going... "

>> This did cross my mind but I'm sure the spawn will appear in the other pond any day now anyway.

Good News, at least one cresty has turned up!

Paul 

PS How do you do that Quote thing (Paul Ford wrote:...)?




Paul Ford
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Posted: 06 Mar 2007 Topic: frogs spawning



[QUOTE=herpetologic2]

I dont think we can get an absolute answer but I suspect that the conditions within that small part of the pond will be optimal for their spawning - I remember in my last pond again the frogs laid within a small patch of a very small pond. The spawn was laid within the shallow, warmer part of the pond - the rays of the morning sun was on this part of the pond.

[/QUOTE]

Out walking over the weekend I observed 4 ponds. These ponds were in "pairs" (ie 2 ponds right next to each other) and none of the ponds were in shade. Spawn had been laid in only one of each pair and in both cases in the shallowist area of both ponds (I do hope this makes sense!). 

I am therefore inclined to agree with this theory (and maybe this explains why sometimes you find spawn in puddles etc)

Paul




Paul Ford
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Posted: 06 Mar 2007 Topic: Searching out the 6 footers



I for one  love to see pictures of large grass snakes (or even better, up close and personal)

When I'm out I'd much rather see one big one rather than lots of small ones (bit like when I'm fishing actually - rather catch one big one!!).

I also like the ones with distinct markings - I guess though as they get older the markings fade? Although when I was a kid I caught a 3 footer and the markings were as clear and vivid as a young one.

Up on the mendips last year all the grassies I saw were less than 2 foot (probably less than 2 foot) and all a bit on the plain side - perhaps I need to look somewhere else for the bigger "cross-banded" types?

Paul

 

 

 




Paul Ford
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Posted: 27 Mar 2007 Topic: So what are your other interests?



Hi,

I'm mainly into cars now. I have a 540 BHP Mitsibushi GTO but drive around most of the time in a Peugeot diesel.

I used to compete in dog agility and had 4 border collies at one time. Gave up in the end though due to injury problems (with the dogs not me!) - after spending hours and hours training it was mega disappointing to find a lame dog come show day. At least with a car it can always be fixed (well usually anyway)

Just got the one dog now - and he takes up at least an hour of every day.

Vicar - what fast car have you parked in the driveway at the moment then?

Paul




Paul Ford
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Posted: 27 Mar 2007 Topic: So what are your other interests?



[QUOTE=Vicar]I have a modified XR4x4TT280 estate! (for when you need to shift that washing machine...fast!), and am currently playing with a 200SX S14, both around the 300BHP mark.
[/QUOTE]

Ah the good ol SR20DET engine eh? I have a broken piston on my desk as we speak - the result of overboosting a GTiR (ended up with 305BHP with that one!)

 




Paul Ford
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Posted: 03 Apr 2007 Topic: RAUK field trip



Thanks guys - see you at 9


Paul Ford
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Posted: 02 Apr 2007 Topic: RAUK field trip



Hi folks,

 

Assuming this is still on for Saturday Im up for this.

 

Its quite a long drive for me and Im terrible at finding places but Ive got a Tom Tom now though so I normally get there in the end As far as I can work out I need to head for postcode GU18 5RG(?). Does this sound about right? Also, can someone tell me how to find the second car park as knowing my luck I could be 500 yards away and never get there!

 

Thanks

 

Paul

 

PS What's the car park security like?




Paul Ford
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Posted: 08 Apr 2007 Topic: RAUK Lightwater field trip 7 April 2007



Fantastic people fantastic day

Probably just me but I was absolutely knackered when I got home

Roll on the next trip!

Paul

PS I'm second from the left




Paul Ford
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Posted: 09 Apr 2007 Topic: RAUK Field Trip #2



I'm up for the next one. Will travel pretty much anywhere and the only dates I can't make are the 20/21st April and the 26th of May.

(That said, I would like to go to Studland one day with somebody who knows it as I've been twice and the only thing I found were nudists   (and they were all blokes))

Paul

 




Paul Ford
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Posted: 12 Apr 2007 Topic: The Mendips 12/04/2007



Met up with St Rick today and we went to the Mendips.

We didn't have a bad day really, between us we saw; 12 grassies, lost count of the adders (probably over 20!) saw a black one and saw them dance too, 5 slow worms and quite a few lizards.

Here's a picture of Rick with the biggest grassie of the day:

As you can see somebody has been eating well!!!

 

 




Paul Ford
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Posted: 12 Apr 2007 Topic: The Mendips 12/04/2007



Here's a couple more photos




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