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 Post subject: San Diego April 30-May 3
PostPosted: April 6th, 2017, 6:17 am 
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Joined: May 4th, 2016, 10:10 am
Posts: 27
Location: MA
Hi everyone,

My name is Pat and I'll be visiting San Diego for a conference April 30th to May 3rd. I'll be busy during the day, but will have the late afternoon/evening (and maybe an early morning) free for herping. I'm staying close to the airport, and I'd appreciate any general advice for where to look within an hour's drive (San Diego NWR? Mission Trails Regional Park?). I'm not looking for specific species, though I tend to focus on snakes. This will be my first time in CA, so just about everything will be new. I've already purchased my sport fishing license, though any catching I do will be strictly for photography.

In addition to general areas where I stand a good chance of seeing a variety of herps, I'm interested to know:

Should I stick closer to the coast? Venture up into the mountains?

Am I likely to find anything road cruising (I looked at historic temps, and was surprised how cool it usually is that time of year)? How about flipping?

More about me: I live in Massachusetts, where I'm a librarian at a natural history museum. I've been herping since I was a little kid. Last year I visited AZ for the first time, and people in the forums gave some really helpful advice. You can see my trip summary here: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=23585

I know MA isn't a herping destination for most people, but I'm happy to return the favor if the opportunity arises. Thanks.

Pat


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 Post subject: Re: San Diego April 30-May 3
PostPosted: April 6th, 2017, 9:03 am 
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Joined: August 24th, 2010, 9:14 am
Posts: 508
Location: San Diego
Welcome to California. I should be able to guide you around in the evenings. I work regular hours right next to the airport as well so we can meet up afterwards to do some evening herping. SDNWR is a good start. I'll think of some other areas we can check out too. I'm the education specialist for the California chapter and Jeff is the president. He's great about helping authentic naturalists from out of town.
PM you my contact info
-NN


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 Post subject: Re: San Diego April 30-May 3
PostPosted: April 6th, 2017, 10:07 am 
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Joined: May 4th, 2016, 10:10 am
Posts: 27
Location: MA
I appreciate it Nate. I'll give you a call as the dates get closer.


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 Post subject: Re: San Diego April 30-May 3
PostPosted: April 13th, 2017, 9:42 am 

Joined: March 19th, 2015, 2:42 pm
Posts: 3
Hello,
I am too hoping for contacts and help during a visit to southern California (from 17-30 April). I too just want to see animals in the field and try for video (with fishing license to legally pose them if necessary). I have some academic contacts already, but folks on this forum seem to be willing to help responsible individuals. I am also interested in the possibility of flipping boards rather than natural objects.

About me: I was in California some years ago getting photos for our book (Lang Elliott, Carl Gerhardt, Carlos Davidson: Frogs and Toads of North America), but that trip was strictly focused on frogs. I just retired from the University of Missouri, where I taught herpetology for many years and now have a chance to chase wildlife at the right times of year in interesting places. I used my own video in classes, and I want to pass those and any new ones to my new colleague who will teach it in a year or so. Samples of my video are at natureviewmedia.com Note that while I offer to sell footage and I have done so, I am NOT trying to make money and so far my sales would not even buy one of my video cameras - maybe pay for food and lodging for a trip or two. In fact, I am more interested in making some small productions, something like to featured video (home page) about poison-dart frogs in Peru.

So my plans are to rent a small SUV at LAX next Monday afternoon and wing it from there - though I will communicate with my contacts in San Diego about times and places that are convenient for them. So if you are willing to help you can email me at
[email protected]

Best,
Carl Gerhardt

PS I am also keen to get video of birds and other wildlife


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 Post subject: Re: San Diego April 30-May 3
PostPosted: May 4th, 2017, 10:26 am 
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Joined: May 4th, 2016, 10:10 am
Posts: 27
Location: MA
I just got back from San Diego. It'll take me a while to sort and edit pics (I'll post them later) but here's a quick summary: lots of lizards, not so many snakes. I was pretty disappointed. I went out in the morning and afternoon/evening on the three days I was there, to a variety of habitats: coastal, grassland, hills, agricultural areas, and desert. The only snakes I turned up were two threadsnakes in Mission Hills and a speckled rattler in the foothills above Anza-Borrego on my last night. It was in the 70s till after midnight in the desert, so I thought I'd have more success road cruising, but alas. I went back and forth between the desert and the hills for about 4 hours, starting just before sundown, and aside from the one speckled (and another DOR) all I saw were a couple geckos. It was pretty windy all three days, I don't know if that had anything to do with it. Next time, California.


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 Post subject: Re: San Diego April 30-May 3
PostPosted: May 4th, 2017, 1:26 pm 
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Joined: August 24th, 2010, 9:14 am
Posts: 508
Location: San Diego
Sorry dude. Hopefully I'll have more time if you're out here again. Be sure to drop me a line
-NN


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 Post subject: Re: San Diego April 30-May 3
PostPosted: May 5th, 2017, 12:03 pm 
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Joined: May 4th, 2016, 10:10 am
Posts: 27
Location: MA
Thanks Nate. I sent a text before heading out there--not sure if you got it. It wasn't all bad though, I got a couple new anurans and a bunch of lizards in addition to the few snakes.


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 Post subject: Re: San Diego April 30-May 3
PostPosted: June 14th, 2017, 8:02 am 
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Joined: May 4th, 2016, 10:10 am
Posts: 27
Location: MA
Took me forever, but I finally put my pics from this trip on Flickr. All were taken in San Diego County. As you can see, lots of lizards. I had a little trouble identifying some and distinguishing various forms, male/female, etc. For more pics, including non-herps, check out my photostream: https://www.flickr.com/photos/animaliaproject/. Thanks, and please let me know if I've misidentified anything.

Found two of these guys one night.

ImageSouthwestern Threadsnake, Rena humilis humilis Baird & Girard, 1853 by Patrick Randall, on Flickr

ImageSouthwestern Threadsnake, Rena humilis humilis Baird & Girard, 1853 by Patrick Randall, on Flickr

One of only two amphibians I found.

ImageBaja California Treefrog, Pseudacris hypochondriaca hypochondriaca (Hallowell, 1854) by Patrick Randall, on Flickr

Flipped this guy near the coast.

ImageSan Diego Alligator Lizard, Elgaria multicarinata webbii (Baird, 1859) by Patrick Randall, on Flickr

One of the highlights for me, my first horny toad.

ImageCoast Horned Lizard, Phrynosoma blainvillii Gray, 1839 by Patrick Randall, on Flickr

Squaring off.

ImageGreat Basin Fence Lizards, Sceloporus occidentalis longipes Baird, 1859 ♂♀ by Patrick Randall, on Flickr

ImageGreat Basin Fence Lizard, Sceloporus occidentalis longipes Baird, 1859 by Patrick Randall, on Flickr

ImageWestern Side-blotched Lizard, Uta stansburiana elegans Yarrow, 1882 ♂ by Patrick Randall, on Flickr

The rest from the Anza-Borrego:

ImageWestern Side-blotched Lizard, Uta stansburiana elegans Yarrow, 1882, juvenile by Patrick Randall, on Flickr

ImageSan Diego Banded Gecko, Coleonyx variegatus abbotti Klauber, 1945 by Patrick Randall, on Flickr

Two pics of the same snake:

ImageSouthwestern Speckled Rattlesnake, Crotalus mitchellii pyrrhus (Cope, 1867) by Patrick Randall, on Flickr

ImageSouthwestern Speckled Rattlesnake, Crotalus mitchellii pyrrhus (Cope, 1867) by Patrick Randall, on Flickr

ImageCalifornia Toad, Anaxyrus boreas halophilus (Baird and Girard, 1853) by Patrick Randall, on Flickr


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 Post subject: Re: San Diego April 30-May 3
PostPosted: June 14th, 2017, 8:29 am 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 5:02 am
Posts: 510
Location: Southern Cal.
Pat, the Threadsnakes are cool !!!
I have herped here more than four decades, and you have already seen the total number I have. :thumb:

Excellent pics also.


Craig


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 Post subject: Re: San Diego April 30-May 3
PostPosted: June 14th, 2017, 8:38 am 
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Joined: May 4th, 2016, 10:10 am
Posts: 27
Location: MA
Thanks Craig. I guess I shouldn't feel bad about finding so few total snakes then.


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