Night Stalking San Diego – Summer 2015

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SurfinHerp
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Night Stalking San Diego – Summer 2015

Post by SurfinHerp » October 12th, 2015, 11:25 am

Hey There FHF!

I spent many hours and scanned dozens of acres while night hiking for herps this summer. Some nights my aim was simply to see what might be out and about. Other times I targeted common species that I had found while road-cruising, or under cover objects, but never while night hiking. I spent many nights surveying preserves of the Fallbrook Land Canservancy, hoping to confirm the presence of additional herp species for their list. Additionally, I volunteered for a pair of USGS night time walking herp surveys.

Here are some of the herps I encountered while stalking San Diego on foot, at night, between June and October…


June

I recorded a few new species for the FLC...

This is the first SD banded gecko
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and this is the first long-nosed snake
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I found this black-headed snake late at night in a desert-edge rock outcrop
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Just a granite night lizard from a desert canyon
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July


This next pic has a good story behind it...
A few years ago, I was road-cruising one of my favorite roads not too far from home when I decided to get out and search a rocky roadcut section. I found a shed skin hanging out of a crevice right next to the road, at about eye level. I decided it must have been from a lyre snake. So, over the past few years I've stopped and shined that roadcut perhaps 5 or 6 times. Finally, this past June, I found what I believe may be the same snake that left the shed. It was less than 20 yards from the shed site, about the right size, and had obviously just eaten something large.
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Coiled red diamond rattlers are one of the more common sights while night stalking SD
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Found a couple cool reptiles in a desert canyon with Frank T. one night..

Speckled rattler, as found
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Shovel-nosed snake, as found
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We also found a few leaf-toed geckos.


This is the first thread snake found at one of the FLC Preserves
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Nice juvie red diamond, as found
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Fallbrook speck, as found
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In situ shot of a 2nd thread snake, found 6 feet up on a roadcut at the same FLC preserve
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August


This is the 2nd SD banded gecko found at the FLC, very near where the 1st was found. In situ photo
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A third FLC thread snake
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September


A few of us got together in honor of Kent VanSooy and herped one of his favorite desert canyons the Saturday after his passing. We had a good time and found some cool herps, including a nice speck, a few granite night lizards, and a handful of geckos...

speck found and photo'd by Dave
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Found a lot of coiled Southern Pacific rattlesnakes (aka "helleri") in September and early October...

adult helleri in the bottom of a dry rocky gully
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sub-adult helleri found about 25 feet away from the above adult
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Leaf-toed geckos are one of the easiest herps to find on rocky desert slopes
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'Super/Harvest/Blood moon' lunar eclipse
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My son Brady and I found this yearling sized helleri coiled under the Blood moon
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more helleri...
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Nature Nate and I went out for a hike one night with the goal of stalking a California kingsnake.
We ended up finding two hatchlings..
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I successfully stalked a California glossy snake at my first USGS night survey
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Also found a helleri and a SD banded gecko..
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October


Finally found a rosy boa on a night hike!
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(Set the camera to "color pop" mode for that photo)

Had some good success on a second USGS-related herp survey. Found another banded gecko, a newborn helleri, a big fat western toad, and two small CA glossies!

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The last interesting herp I stalked recently was this western spadefoot toad
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OK, that's all for now. Maybe I'll add a few more pics if I help with the next USGS survey coming up tomorrow night.

Cheers!

Jeff

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Fundad
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Re: Night Stalking San Diego – Summer 2015

Post by Fundad » October 12th, 2015, 2:19 pm

Way to go Jeff. You and Nate are Killing it..

Anyone that can nightwalk a blindsnake, is impressive.. just sayin..

My blind rear end likely wouldn't see one.

:thumb: :beer:

I appreciate your efforts.
Brian Hinds
California Chapter President.

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Re: Night Stalking San Diego – Summer 2015

Post by hellihooks » October 12th, 2015, 3:18 pm

good stuff, Jeff... :thumb:

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El Garia
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Re: Night Stalking San Diego – Summer 2015

Post by El Garia » October 12th, 2015, 3:33 pm

Nice finds, Jeff!

Good job with the Threadsnakes and the SD Banded Geckos :beer:

Derek

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Re: Night Stalking San Diego – Summer 2015

Post by dave_zeldin » October 12th, 2015, 8:55 pm

Jeff,

This is an awesome post! Love the photos and the descriptions. Great work.

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Brian Hubbs
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Re: Night Stalking San Diego – Summer 2015

Post by Brian Hubbs » October 12th, 2015, 9:17 pm

Very nice...! I've still never seen a leaf-toed gecko. :lol: Guess I should shine rocks at night...

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Re: Night Stalking San Diego – Summer 2015

Post by dave_zeldin » October 12th, 2015, 9:18 pm

Brian, that night we found the leaf-toed geckos and the speck was also my first leaf-toed gecko. Really neat to see!

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Re: Night Stalking San Diego – Summer 2015

Post by Mulebrother » October 13th, 2015, 4:48 am

Great stuff Jeff! Want to come back to so-cal so bad I can't stand it!

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SurfinHerp
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Re: Night Stalking San Diego – Summer 2015

Post by SurfinHerp » October 14th, 2015, 8:09 am

Thanks guys - I appreciate all the comments!!


Hubbs - let's go for a leaf-toed gecko walk next time you're passing through SD County. Just give me a call a day or two in advance.

Fundad - I bet you'd see a thread snake. I've actually night-walked 7 of them so far this year! Most of the time they're just squirming around out in the open. The first one I found at the FLC required good eyesight though. It was fairly small and moving slowly through some sparse, dry grass.

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Re: Night Stalking San Diego – Summer 2015

Post by Calfirecap » October 14th, 2015, 8:44 am

Awesome post Jeff, and great job.
Got to make it back down there one of these days.

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Re: Night Stalking San Diego – Summer 2015

Post by Fieldnotes » October 14th, 2015, 1:06 pm

Awesome, the only thing that could have made that post even better would have been night-walking a switaki. You guys (including Nate, Frank, etc.) make San Diego look like the best place to live in California, if you're a herper. Long-nosed Snake, tantilla, Thread Snakes - by night walking too cool. :thumb:

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Re: Night Stalking San Diego – Summer 2015

Post by Kelly Mc » January 5th, 2016, 11:32 pm

Neat post! Beautiful too.

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socalherper
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Re: Night Stalking San Diego – Summer 2015

Post by socalherper » March 8th, 2016, 1:37 pm

Great finds Jeff,

Thank's for sharing!

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Re: Night Stalking San Diego – Summer 2015

Post by hellihooks » March 16th, 2016, 6:26 pm

we see thread (blind) snakes pretty regularly up here in the hi-d... in da crops, no less. whoulda thunk it... :crazyeyes:

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yolodave
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Re: Night Stalking San Diego – Summer 2015

Post by yolodave » March 16th, 2016, 9:03 pm

This is great stuff. Thanks for sharing your adventures and sightings.

Dave

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Ross Padilla
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Re: Night Stalking San Diego – Summer 2015

Post by Ross Padilla » March 24th, 2016, 9:49 am

Some amazing stuff here. :thumb:

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