Herping Houston, late April RFI

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J-Miz
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Joined: October 28th, 2010, 3:26 pm

Herping Houston, late April RFI

Post by J-Miz » April 18th, 2020, 6:51 am

Hello all,

Admittedly I haven’t been active on this forum for quite some time but I figured I would ask anyhow.

I will be in the Houston area end of the month and am interested in doing some herping while out here. Although I am interested in whatever I may chance upon, certain finds would certainly be more thrilling than others (Louisiana milks are so much nicer than our northern milks [same goes with your Mississippi ringnecks], corals, rattlesnakes [is western pygmy even worth trying for?], copperheads, etc). With the current situation I am unsure what is even open.

Brazos Bend seems fun (no gators here in Ohio!), and as a birder might be a must-visit location, too. Should the Houston Audubon sanctuaries reopen I would find myself down by Smith Oaks Sanctaury and High Island for the incredible birding...but I’m not counting on it!

In case you want to see I am a real person:
Facebook: Jared Mizanin
Instagram: jaredmizanin

Feel free to message me here or wherever.

Thanks :)

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chris_mcmartin
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Re: Herping Houston, late April RFI

Post by chris_mcmartin » April 24th, 2020, 3:49 am

I don't know if you've received any PMs but Brazos Bend SP should be reopening Monday the 27th (with some restrictions in place as all state parks will have). You should be able to see alligators and various snakes. Copperheads are pretty common throughout the greater Houston area; I have a juvenile currently sitting in my living room (retrieved from a neighbor's yard).

Despite having moved here 5 years ago I've yet to do much serious herping; most of the stuff I see are incidental finds in our town north of Houston (which is fairly nature-friendly with lots of green space). In people's yards, LA milks show up time to time, buttermilk racers, Gulf Coast ribbon snakes, brown (Dekay's) snakes, rough earth snakes, copperheads, plainbelly and diamondback water snakes, eastern hognose, western ("Texas") rat snakes, green anoles, brown anoles (unfortunately), five-lined and broad-headed skinks, ground skinks, Mediterranean geckos, three-toed box turtles, red-eared sliders, yellow mud turtles, common snapping turtles, spiny softshell turtles, green treefrogs, gray and Cope's gray treefrogs, squirrel treefrogs, spring peepers, bullfrogs, southern leopard frogs, Gulf Coast toads, Rio Grande chirping frogs, and probably a few other species I left out.

Further north still, you get into the Sam Houston National Forest. It can be like finding a needle in a haystack, but you get into timber rattlesnake and pygmy rattlesnake habitat.

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chris_mcmartin
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Re: Herping Houston, late April RFI

Post by chris_mcmartin » April 24th, 2020, 3:50 am

Oh yeah, coral snakes have been showing up in the community too. I've only found one myself, and that was a few years ago, but again I'm not looking too hard.

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BillMcGighan
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Re: Herping Houston, late April RFI

Post by BillMcGighan » April 24th, 2020, 6:08 am

Chris;
Further north still, you get into the Sam Houston National Forest. It can be like finding a needle in a haystack, but you get into timber rattlesnake and pygmy rattlesnake habitat.
Just some additional candy in the SHNF:
best (2).JPG
best (1).JPG

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chris_mcmartin
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Re: Herping Houston, late April RFI

Post by chris_mcmartin » April 25th, 2020, 8:37 am

Awesome! I think we have Red-cockaded Woodpeckers further south in our State Forest which is a little over a mile from my house. They do prescribed burns to maintain suitable habitat. I haven't seen one yet, but then again I haven't been looking for them either.

My coworker just hiked up a large male Broad-headed Skink and a Cottonmouth on a community park trail. Someone else just posted a Timber Rattlesnake seen in their front yard on the outskirts of town toward the national forest.

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BillMcGighan
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Re: Herping Houston, late April RFI

Post by BillMcGighan » April 25th, 2020, 9:04 am

This one was just north of the SHNF.

http://www.naherp.com/viewrecord.php?r_id=255991

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