Board Flipping Suggestions in SoCal

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jb000
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Board Flipping Suggestions in SoCal

Post by jb000 » January 16th, 2020, 7:26 pm

Hi-
Any suggestions on the best time of day and outside temperature for board flipping in SoCal? I usually head out to flip boards in the afternoon but I was wondering if it is typically more productive earlier in the day. Thank you.

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jonathan
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Re: Board Flipping Suggestions in SoCal

Post by jonathan » January 19th, 2020, 9:30 am

My assumption is that it really depends on the weather and the particular place the board is laying. I aim for morning but I don't actually have any proof that's better, and actually my best flipping sequence ever (10 snakes of 6 species in 1 hour including a rosy and a tantilla) was quite late in the afternoon. You have to be fairly aware of the temperature constraints of the particular species you're targeting, know what they're going to be looking for at a particular locality at that particular time of year in light of the recent weather patterns, and figure out whether those needs will be best served by being close to the surface under a board or not, and whether that should be a board in an exposed sunny area or in a more shaded or moister area. Once you know those things you can figure out which part of the day utilizing the board will best serve their needs.

I haven't done it in the USA that I remember but in Asia I've even had some success flipping boards at night.

Jimi
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Re: Board Flipping Suggestions in SoCal

Post by Jimi » January 20th, 2020, 12:34 pm

I suggest you consider physiology and security. Those are the main drivers that result in an animal electing to place itself right up under a surface object. Never forget that - the animal put itself there. Ask yourself why, or why not.
My assumption is that it really depends on the weather and the particular place the board is laying.
Agreed. There's more to it than that, but those are factors that MUST be considered.

When could you flip a rosy boa under a plywood sheet that's 110 degrees? Never.

When could you flip a coachwhip during summer? At night, or the butt-crack of dawn.

When could you flip a 10" night snake when the nighttime low is 45 and the daytime high is 65? Any time of day probably, unless the cover object is small, dark, and fully exposed to the sun. Then, it'll probably be too hot underneath from about 11AM to maybe 5PM.

Alright, that's my advice. My experience is, "mostly from March into May, but earlier can also work for cold-tolerant stuff like skinks and salamanders". Overcast skies can help a lot, too. Or even rain - some stuff seems to hate getting rained on - they'll take shelter under a board to stay dry.

Watch your hands and feet, and good luck!

jb000
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Re: Board Flipping Suggestions in SoCal

Post by jb000 » January 20th, 2020, 6:52 pm

Thanks for the advice!
Overcast skies can help a lot, too. Or even rain - some stuff seems to hate getting rained on - they'll take shelter under a board to stay dry.
I always assumed flipping would be more productive under some sunlight. Do you think overcast skies are better for finding kingsnakes, night snakes, and helleri?
When could you flip a 10" night snake when the nighttime low is 45 and the daytime high is 65? Any time of day probably, unless the cover object is small, dark, and fully exposed to the sun. Then, it'll probably be too hot underneath from about 11AM to maybe 5PM.
I actually flipped a night snake under a board that was fully exposed to the sun at around 73 degrees. Would you consider this uncommon?

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Kelly Mc
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Re: Board Flipping Suggestions in SoCal

Post by Kelly Mc » January 20th, 2020, 7:28 pm

Jimi wrote:
January 20th, 2020, 12:34 pm
I suggest you consider physiology and security. Those are the main drivers that result in an animal electing to place itself right up under a surface object. Never forget that - the animal put itself there. Ask yourself why, or why not.
My assumption is that it really depends on the weather and the particular place the board is laying.
Agreed. There's more to it than that, but those are factors that MUST be considered.

When could you flip a rosy boa under a plywood sheet that's 110 degrees? Never.

When could you flip a coachwhip during summer? At night, or the butt-crack of dawn.

When could you flip a 10" night snake when the nighttime low is 45 and the daytime high is 65? Any time of day probably, unless the cover object is small, dark, and fully exposed to the sun. Then, it'll probably be too hot underneath from about 11AM to maybe 5PM.

Alright, that's my advice. My experience is, "mostly from March into May, but earlier can also work for cold-tolerant stuff like skinks and salamanders". Overcast skies can help a lot, too. Or even rain - some stuff seems to hate getting rained on - they'll take shelter under a board to stay dry.

Watch your hands and feet, and good luck!

Im grateful for the site's formatting of White print on Black , it pleases me especially as this post is like looking at a spread of little diamonds.

Ask and ye shall receive at FHF. Man, Jimi.

Jimi
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Re: Board Flipping Suggestions in SoCal

Post by Jimi » January 21st, 2020, 4:08 pm

I actually flipped a night snake under a board that was fully exposed to the sun at around 73 degrees. Would you consider this uncommon?
Not at all, no, but I would add that context matters. I intuit that what you're really after is predictive power. How to know what to do, and when to do it, to up your success rate. Just don't get too hung up on "success" - success is a nice day outside, and getting home safe and sound, with no snake bites, tick bites, poison oak, etc. Finding animals is just icing.

The single best way to accumulate a personal large data set that will improve your predictive abilities, is to get a temp gun and just use the hell out of it. Shoot the top of something you're thinking of flipping. Flip it and shoot the underside of the cover object. Then shoot the dirt or gravel underneath. Shoot any animals you find under it.

You will learn the patterns of heat accumulation and loss. Patterns influenced by cloud cover, time of day, overnight low temp, soil moisture level, size / color / thickness / density of the cover object. And more.

You will learn the patterns of animal behavior. Patterns influenced by the size of the animal, the age class of the animal, the shed cycle of the animal, the reproductive cycle of the animal, and the relative temp preferences of the taxon the animal belongs to. And more.

Learn these things, and you will have better predictive power. It takes quite an investment in time and effort. Get the temp gun, and get a discount on the investment required. Or at least a faster return. The temp gun also works great for road cruising, and spot-stalking. Like, you'll be able to tell when it's time to stop looking in sunny cracks, and switch to shady ones.


Ask and ye shall receive at FHF. Man, Jimi.
Thanks Kelly. I hope you're well and content enough. Happy to report so here.

cheers

Jimi
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Re: Board Flipping Suggestions in SoCal

Post by Jimi » January 21st, 2020, 4:12 pm

I always assumed flipping would be more productive under some sunlight.
It depends. Early in the season when nights are still chilly and days are not very warm either - yeah, sure sun helps. But you'd be amazed how much a board or rock will warm with overcast. Inrared rays are invisible, and they penetrate water vapor pretty well. The stuff your eyes likes doesn't do much for heat. And later on, when it's gotten warm at night and hot in the day - I prefer overcast, or butt-crack of dawn, or after dark. Bright sunny days are the worst then.

jb000
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Re: Board Flipping Suggestions in SoCal

Post by jb000 » January 21st, 2020, 9:40 pm

Jimi wrote:
January 21st, 2020, 4:08 pm
The single best way to accumulate a personal large data set that will improve your predictive abilities, is to get a temp gun and just use the hell out of it.
I probably don't herp enough to accumulate my own data but I will look into it.
But you'd be amazed how much a board or rock will warm with overcast. Inrared rays are invisible, and they penetrate water vapor pretty well. The stuff your eyes likes doesn't do much for heat. And later on, when it's gotten warm at night and hot in the day - I prefer overcast, or butt-crack of dawn, or after dark. Bright sunny days are the worst then.
Wow, hearing this was really suprising to me. Anyway, I really appreciate the input and I'll definitely consider this for the next time I plan a trip out to the field. Thank you!

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