You are two months late, I hear you say.
This is nothing to do with credit card debt and tinsel.
For most herpetologists February often marks the start of the survey season. When our hardy little reptiles begin to emerge from their semi dormant winter slumber.
Day length is increasing and temperatures are very gradually beginning to increase as well. Apparently, though I’ve yet to witness that.
Calm days with no rain and just a little bright sunshine are usually enough to entice male adders and common lizards out to bask. Temperatures in the region of 6C are all that is required. This seems unlikely to many people and they are often surprised by how cool it can be when they encounter a snake.
The first few days or weeks of emergence are filled with weather driven inconsistency. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how the weather can change dramatically quickly during any 24 hour period in February, March and April.
In a good year, when Spring is sprung and we are treated to several consecutive days of sun, a trip out to spot reptiles can be rewarded with numerous sightings of basking, docile adders and dozy lizards.
This is of course what we are all hoping for as the first training and survey days are fast approaching for the revealing reptiles Project volunteers.
If you would like to get involved please contact me using the e mail at the bottom of this article. I will add you to the e mail list and send you our training dates. You simply let me know which you would be interested in joining and turn up.
Of course you needn’t be a fully fledged signed up member in order to submit your sightings of reptiles. I’m launching an on line form you can access. This will allow anyone who spots a reptile while out and about to simply log in and fill in the form. Records will be collated and added to our atlas.
So happy herping, as we say. Enjoy the spring weather and find us some snakes and lizards in places we never knew they existed.
Herpetologist = someone who studies reptiles and amphibians
Herpetology = The study of reptiles and amphibians
Herpetofauna = The collective term for reptiles and amphibians
Herping = The term used informally, for looking for reptiles and amphibians
John R Grundy
Revealing Reptiles Project Officer