Lifelisting San Diego County 2014 – Part 2: Summer

Dedicated exclusively to field herping.

Moderator: Scott Waters

Post Reply
User avatar
SurfinHerp
Posts: 655
Joined: October 18th, 2010, 7:55 pm
Location: San Diego, CA
Contact:

Lifelisting San Diego County 2014 – Part 2: Summer

Post by SurfinHerp » July 25th, 2014, 11:34 am

Hello Everybody,


Here is the second group of photos taken between Memorial Day and now.

In order to get the full context of this post, you may want to review Part 1, found here: http://www.fieldherpforum.com/forum/vie ... 42#p227742




In late May, I took another road-cruise to the desert edge and had some success….

Large threadsnake
Image

Screamer shovel-nosed snake that I found a little too late
Image

Yearling glossy snake
Image

Attractive adult long-nosed snake
Image




A night or two later I road-cruised one of my favorite coastal foothill areas…

Sub-adult helleri
Image

Arroyo toad
Dropping a load
Right on the road
Image
(I thought Fil would appreciate this photo, and Jim would like the lyrics)

Side view of a long-nosed snake
Image



Found this long-nosed snake at the end of May in my favorite coastal canyon
Image




June


I met up with Chris P. (chrispherp) one night and we took a night hike in a spot known for Switaki. No luck on Switak’s, but we scored a half dozen leaf-toed geckos and a desert banded…
Image

Image

Image

Chris and I camped overnight, and in the morning met up with Randy C. (Nofangs) who was visiting SD from Texas. We went down by the border and hunted Baja collared lizards until we couldn’t stand the heat any longer…

Image

Image

Randy and Chris with our quarry
Image
We ended up seeing three collareds, but were only able to get good photos of two.
Hope to meet up with you again someday soon Randy!





A little later on in June..


On this night, I cruised a desert edge valley hoping to find a black-and-white striped Cal. kingsnake…

As soon as I arrived, I found a sweet banded king
Image

Then I found the striper I wanted, but it had just been hit :(
Image

The only other live snakes I saw were a couple glossies and this long-nosed
Image

In the morning, while hoping to find a flat-tailed horned lizard, I saw a small lizard bolt into a bush.
When I searched the bush I came upon this little coachwhip waiting in ambush
Image

Image



Later on in June, Chris P. and I headed out for a night of cruising and hiking in the desert. We did OK I think…

Chris spotted this speck only about 10 feet from the car, after finding a chuckwalla in a crack right next to the car
Image
Good parking spot!

Chris also spotted this sidewinder as we drove a dirt road toward a rocky canyon
Image
Only found a leaf-toed gecko in the canyon

Then we stopped for gas and got some help finding Mediterranean house geckos around the station
Image

On our road-cruise, we mainly saw leaf-nosed snakes and red-spotted toads.
Here’s the best photo I took: a leaf-nosed snake
Image



Last year I spent a lot of time in the field with the great herp photographer James Evans (jamezevanz). He told me about a little-known side canyon where he had found rosy boas a couple times. I decided to try my luck there one night and found some cool reptiles, but no rosy…

Speckled rattlesnake, in situ
Image

Saw about a dozen granite night lizards
Image

Image


While trying to voucher one of the Xantusia way up on a rocky ridge, I was startled to see this red diamond coiled about 3 feet from my face!
Image

I knew there had to be some Phyllodactylus around, and sure enough, I found a couple (only one decent pic though)
Image

"Jamez’ Canyon", as it's now known, is certainly worth going back to!




Here’s a photo of the best-looking leaf-nosed snake I’ve ever seen
Image



In late June, I did some more research and planned my 4th sandstone night lizard hunt. Nathan S. (NatureNate) and Chris P. joined me as well. Temps were brutally hot (95 F at 9 PM), with almost no wind. We endured and found some herps….

Started out with a ‘winder on the way to the night lizard spot
Image

Shortly after arriving in the area that my research said would be good, I stumbled upon this leaf-nosed snake crawling in the canyon-bottom
Image
pretty good-looking one too


Scorpions and other inverts were rather abundant
Image


After about an hour and a half of hiking in the oppressive heat, Chris P. found two sandstone night lizards near a huge crack!! Before we could take any good photos, they bolted deep into the crack. So, we left and came back about 30 minutes later. One was out, but it bolted again. When we returned a third time, we managed to get a few poor quality photos.
I think this is the best one
Image

Feeling only partly satisfied, we headed back to the car.
On the way, Nate spotted this coiled sidewinder
Image
I’m gonna go back there and get some better photos one night when the conditions are a little more pleasant.




July



So far in July the best herping I’ve done has been in the Imperial Valley. I haven’t seen much of anything around SD.

Here are the best photos from the IV…


Sidewinder that a cool Border Patrol agent found after I told him I was looking for snakes
Image

Non-native Rio Grande leopard frog
Image

Woodhouse toad emerging from a burrow
Image

Ground snake found by my friend Frank T. in his yard
Image



Nate, Chris, and I went out there one night recently in hopes of finding some atrox. It didn’t come too easily, but we got one, plus some bonus herps…

Western diamondback rattlesnake
Image

Just another leaf-nosed snake
Image

Yuma-phase Cal. kingsnake!
Image

Image



If I find anything else worthwhile before the end of summer, I’ll probably add it here.

Thanks for checking out my post!

Jeff

User avatar
Calfirecap
Posts: 637
Joined: June 16th, 2010, 7:09 am
Location: Santa Cruz Co. California
Contact:

Re: Lifelisting San Diego County 2014 – Part 2: Summer

Post by Calfirecap » July 26th, 2014, 5:20 am

Looks like good times were had bay all. That ruber that was 3' from your face really blends in. That would be a little unnerving.

User avatar
jamezevanz
Posts: 114
Joined: January 7th, 2013, 10:31 pm
Location: Alaska
Contact:

Re: Lifelisting San Diego County 2014 – Part 2: Summer

Post by jamezevanz » July 26th, 2014, 1:01 pm

More fantastic stuff, glad you had luck in my favorite canyon. Keep hitting it, it's definitely a good boa spot and I feel like there ought to be barefoot geckos there as well. I don't know when I'll be back in Cali. My next herp adventure will likely be in the Southeast somewhere. In the meantime I'll just have to console myself with all the salmon and trout I'm catching.

hellihooks
Posts: 8025
Joined: June 8th, 2010, 7:12 am
Location: Hesperia, California.
Contact:

Re: Lifelisting San Diego County 2014 – Part 2: Summer

Post by hellihooks » July 26th, 2014, 4:05 pm

Along with swataki... leaf toed would be a lifer, as well as baja collards, flat-tail HL, woodhouse and (of course) Sandstone nights... oustanding (not in the road... :lol: ) work... :thumb:
We need to make next years BBBB an overnighter... :D

User avatar
PNWHerper
Posts: 667
Joined: July 8th, 2011, 1:04 pm
Location: King County, WA

Re: Lifelisting San Diego County 2014 – Part 2: Summer

Post by PNWHerper » July 26th, 2014, 8:40 pm

Jeff,

Good work out there!
Image
This looks like a familiar spot. Man, what a hot spot for coachwhips that area is! I have dreamed about tracking out there again, can't wait till I can get out there again. :thumb:

The poopin' toad is hilarious. They take poops the size of one of their limbs. I can't imagine having to do that everytime I took one to the superbowl. You didn't happen to get a shot of the poop with a ruler, did you?

The close call with the ruber sounds hair-raising! :shock:

And those leaf-nosed snakes are awesome. Such great variety of patterns and shades. The threadsnake looks really thick too.

Bummer on the roadkills...

Good stuff, keep it coming! :beer:

User avatar
Fieldnotes
Posts: 1470
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 5:12 pm
Location: Orange County, CA
Contact:

Re: Lifelisting San Diego County 2014 – Part 2: Summer

Post by Fieldnotes » July 29th, 2014, 12:46 am

Cool post and you saved the best for last, the "Yuma" king, that snake looks awesome. :thumb:

Jimi
Posts: 1848
Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm

Re: Lifelisting San Diego County 2014 – Part 2: Summer

Post by Jimi » July 29th, 2014, 3:31 pm

Great pics and stories, thanks man. Also, the lyrics for Jim.

As for this -
You didn't happen to get a shot of the poop with a ruler, did you?
If we didn't know the guy who was asking, and why, well that would sound pretty damn weird. Ha ha.

Cheers,
Jimi

User avatar
PNWHerper
Posts: 667
Joined: July 8th, 2011, 1:04 pm
Location: King County, WA

Re: Lifelisting San Diego County 2014 – Part 2: Summer

Post by PNWHerper » July 29th, 2014, 5:30 pm

You didn't happen to get a shot of the poop with a ruler, did you?


If we didn't know the guy who was asking, and why, well that would sound pretty damn weird. Ha ha.

Cheers,
Jimi
Believe me, I have had weirder conversations in order to get photos and data for this book. When you spend a lot of time around wildlife trackers, this kind stuff is common place... albeit still funny. ;) :thumb:

Jeff is getting the tracking bug now, so off all the people on the FHF, he's probably the least fazed by my strange queries and requests. :beer:

Post Reply