Early morning road cruising

Dedicated exclusively to field herping.

Moderator: Scott Waters

Post Reply
Bostonsauce
Posts: 7
Joined: June 21st, 2013, 1:15 am

Early morning road cruising

Post by Bostonsauce »

Any SoCal people have any luck road cruising early morning to dawn, or is it almost exclusively dusk to midnight seeing results? With the 90+ temps during the day can any time at night be decent?

User avatar
Jeremy Wright
Posts: 144
Joined: December 14th, 2015, 4:56 pm

Re: Early morning road cruising

Post by Jeremy Wright »

Usually I don't cruise much past 1 or 2 just so I can get some sleep but I know people see things all the way until dawn. If the temperatures are good all night then snakes can be found all night long, and if the day is really hot (110+ during the day) then stuff seems to be around in the highest density later then you would expect. I have a friend that cruises often from 8pm or so until dawn and although the "magic hour" or the time with the most snakes might be around 10pm for example, he still sees a steady stream of herps as long as weather, wind, moon, etc are all at bay.

User avatar
Nature Nate
Posts: 510
Joined: August 24th, 2010, 9:14 am
Location: San Diego

Re: Early morning road cruising

Post by Nature Nate »

Depends on what you are targeting. Hypsiglena may come out after 11:00pm whereas lampropeltis is usually just after dusk and the gophers aren't seen after dusk. The mornings you can expect to see diurnal species coming out on dirt roads to warm up for the day such as coaches, gophers, salvadora, racers etc. Also depends on the time of year. Right now depending on coastal or desert you might have good luck with those species in the desert but you could also find boas in the morning if you have the marine layer. I have my best results in the morning if I'm hiking before, during, and after the sun breaks through the marine layer. It can be the most productive 20 minutes of the day. I don't have as much experience cruising during the morning. I prefer hiking trails and hillsides.

As far as early morning hours, if the temps are still up, it really depends on the Solunar table and other conditions as stated above. Really got to know your targets and time of year.

User avatar
Fundad
Posts: 5721
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:11 am
Location: Los Angeles County
Contact:

Re: Early morning road cruising

Post by Fundad »

It also depends on elevation and weather.

I have observed most species at all times. Kings, Crotes, Boas, etc At Dusk, Mid night 4 am, 9 am etc.

It will be 20 degrees warmer at 1000 ft in elevation vs 4500 feet in elevation. It will be cooler the closer you get to the coast. California has diverse habitats and localized weather.

Good Luck, and exploring is the fun part.
Fundad

User avatar
rpecora
Posts: 579
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 3:41 pm

Re: Early morning road cruising

Post by rpecora »

I have done the before dark to mid morning cruises and hikes so many times it would make your head spin. It's amazing the things you will see if you do it.

I have seen numerous Gopher Snakes after dusk and into the night as well as Glossy and Longnose before dark. The Gopher Snakes after dark were no surprise, but the Glossy before dark was neat to see and was a surpise. Hypsiglena at dusk into the AM are not uncommon either.

Like Fundad said the fun is in the exploring and the discovery is that much more exciting.

Post Reply