RAUK - Archived Forum - Hitting the Mother Lode!

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Hitting the Mother Lode!:

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


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Posted: 30 Mar 2007

I had a great day yesterday when finally I managed to track down an
aggregation of 5 adders: 1 female and4 male, I think, at Lightwater in
Surrey.


I have been hanging around this forum for a while, but so far had little
luck locatingsnakes 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? 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. 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!









st rick39171.8294675926
tim hamlett
Senior Member
Joined: 17 Dec 2006
No. of posts: 572


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Posted: 30 Mar 2007

well done.

sounds like you really earned your good luck.

tim


Vicar
Senior Member
Joined: 02 Sep 2004
No. of posts: 1181


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Posted: 30 Mar 2007
Nice one Rick

The males will likely disperse, but you may find that the reproductive females hang around the hibernaculum general area. It does sound as if you have found a hibernaculum !

Very grateful if it would be possible to email or Pm the location, as we're going to be doing the reptile training for NARRS at Lightwater in April.

Are you coming to the training day ?

Steve Langham - Chairman    
Surrey Amphibian & Reptile Group (SARG).
armata
Forum Specialist
Joined: 05 Apr 2006
No. of posts: 928


View other posts by armata
Posted: 30 Mar 2007
Mating activity will kick of in the next week or so, so males won't have dispersed too far. Find the fat female and just watch. (take your camera).
'I get my kicks on Route 62'
st rick
Senior Member
Joined: 26 Apr 2006
No. of posts: 141


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Posted: 30 Mar 2007
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
herpetologic2
Senior Member
Joined: 15 Jun 2004
No. of posts: 1369


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Posted: 01 Apr 2007

Remember we are meeting up on the 7th April to track down 5 of the 6 reptiles - smooth snakes seem to be found in June so we wouldnt be expecting to see these

though the others are a dead cert - Steve can you also make it on the 6th?

Also send in your records to the Warden Gordon - as he would like to have records of hibernacula

Tony & Slippery perhaps you be good to send your records to Gordon aswell as I dont think he has any from you guys

Jon


Vice Chair of ARG UK - self employed consultant -
visit ARG UK & Alresford Wildlife
armata
Forum Specialist
Joined: 05 Apr 2006
No. of posts: 928


View other posts by armata
Posted: 01 Apr 2007
Gordon should have had mine via GM but I can send anyway.
'I get my kicks on Route 62'
Vicar
Senior Member
Joined: 02 Sep 2004
No. of posts: 1181


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Posted: 01 Apr 2007
Jon, Rick

Yeah it would be good to meet up on the morning of 7th @ Lightwater. I'm also free for 6th Jon (until I'm told otherwise :P)

Smooth snakes are out elsewhere in Surrey.....if they are at Lightwater, then I see no reason why we might not get lucky.

Steve

Steve Langham - Chairman    
Surrey Amphibian & Reptile Group (SARG).
herpetologic2
Senior Member
Joined: 15 Jun 2004
No. of posts: 1369


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Posted: 01 Apr 2007

Hi Tony

Well Gordon hasnt got any records from GM as GM has never found any smoothies at Lightwater. I also didnt find any in 2005 and 2006 either. I found plenty of adders, a few grassies, a few slowworms and plenty of viviparous lizards. I also found some adult sand lizards but no smooth snakes.

I think as far as I can make out from Gordon and the local records centre the only records for smooth snake at Lightwater recently was recorded in 2002 - no other records are available from the record centre. The previous record from that was in around 1951 where smooth snake was recorded from 'Lightwater' this was via Julia Wycherley's records.

I was out today on my NARRS training session in Brockenhurst and I found an adult male smooth snake basking at the base of a gorse bush - pretty poor on the reptile front - 1 smooth snake and 1 male slowworm and a glimpse of a viviparous lizard. though the night time survey for amphibians revealed palmate, smooth newts during the daytime and a night time count of 34 adult crested newts......

So next weekend should be good at Lightwater as I have my eye in for basking smoothies - they dont tend to be found under the tins at LW so maybe I could spot some basking amongst the heather and gorse.......

 

We will see

Jon


Vice Chair of ARG UK - self employed consultant -
visit ARG UK & Alresford Wildlife
arvensis
Senior Member
Joined: 15 Mar 2006
No. of posts: 445


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Posted: 01 Apr 2007
Sorry I couldn't make it to the training session today Jon because of work in the afternoon.  I haven't seen a Smoothie yet this year though I should make up for this in the next couple of weeks.

 2 Adders at a local site plus a few Zv and 20 odd Af made for a good morning- didn't have time for checking the whole site so I'm sure the reptile count would have increased if I did have time.

Mark  arvensis39173.7793518519
Hampshire Amphibian and Reptile Group.

- Hitting the Mother Lode!

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