Looking for Mission Trails Regional Park herp partner

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williamfmarshall
Posts: 2
Joined: October 2nd, 2014, 8:34 am

Looking for Mission Trails Regional Park herp partner

Post by williamfmarshall » September 18th, 2018, 11:34 am

Hi everyone - I'm new to San Diego County and live ~15min from Mission Trails Regional Park. I'm not sure if there's a dedictaed forum/group to this area but I'm interested in putting togther some group field herping sessions. I'm primarily interested in getting some solid pics of Souther Pacifics and Southwestern Speckled rattlesnakes.

If anyone has any solid recs for which trails have been fruitful in the past, gimme a shout!

Thanks!

-Will

Jimi
Posts: 1874
Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm

Re: Looking for Mission Trails Regional Park herp partner

Post by Jimi » September 18th, 2018, 1:18 pm

Hi there Will,

Welcome. Really, I mean that. And, I think most folks would be more comfortable with a little "getting to know you" before dishing up. Also, the terms of service here preclude public sharing at the level of detail you seek. Not that people aren't free to talk about whatever they like in private. Which brings us back around to "getting to know you".

So, what's your deal, man?

williamfmarshall
Posts: 2
Joined: October 2nd, 2014, 8:34 am

Re: Looking for Mission Trails Regional Park herp partner

Post by williamfmarshall » September 18th, 2018, 1:24 pm

I think this probably isn't the right forum for me.

Take care.

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Fieldherper
Posts: 236
Joined: June 11th, 2010, 9:46 am

Re: Looking for Mission Trails Regional Park herp partner

Post by Fieldherper » September 18th, 2018, 2:19 pm

Hey Will,

I am sure that there are some San Diego herpers that would love to go out with you. We get funny about posting specific localities on the web. That being said, both of those species are common in San Diego County. Southern Pacific rattlesnakes are found county-wide except the lower deserts. They turn up frequently in many developed areas of the county. They prefer coastal grassland, chaparral, and extend up into the oak and pine woodlands in the mountains. If you spend some time on the trails in Spring and early Summer, you should see them. They can also be commonly found under boards, trash, and other artificial cover when conditions are moist in late Winter and early Spring.

Speckleds are primarily rock-swelling snakes and you should focus your efforts on rocky areas. Much of Southern CA consists of granitic boulder fields and this is ideal habitat. Red diamond rattlesnakes share the same habitat. Checking rock piles and boulders in early Spring is probably the most productive way to locate these snakes. Be careful, they are very cryptic and several herpers have been bitten by putting their hand in the wrong place in that type of habitat.

Good luck and be safe.

FH

Jimi
Posts: 1874
Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm

Re: Looking for Mission Trails Regional Park herp partner

Post by Jimi » September 19th, 2018, 9:13 am

Be careful, they are very cryptic and several herpers have been bitten by putting their hand in the wrong place in that type of habitat.
Good advice. "Very cryptic" could be an understatement for specks. Besides sporting some pretty amazing background-matching they are also very disinclined to move or rattle, unless caught out on the crawl. When they're in a resting coil, putting your hand right on them would be surprisingly easy to do. When moving around in rocks, slow way down and look at everything at least three times! I doubt there's anyone here who has worked over their habitat, who hasn't had a thrilling or charming surprise or two. They can be very forgiving of trespass, but then again, they can be pretty twitchy. Specks are in my top 3 of favorite native rattlesnakes. (Helleri are near the bottom, ha ha ha.)
I think this probably isn't the right forum for me.
I think that is hasty. Don't read between my lines - just read my lines. Welcome. Who are you?

cheers

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Owen
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Joined: June 10th, 2010, 11:35 pm
Location: San Jose', Northern Catcrapistan

Re: Looking for Mission Trails Regional Park herp partner

Post by Owen » September 19th, 2018, 10:49 am

Jimi wrote:
Be careful, they are very cryptic and several herpers have been bitten by putting their hand in the wrong place in that type of habitat.
Good advice. "Very cryptic" could be an understatement for specks. Besides sporting some pretty amazing background-matching they are also very disinclined to move or rattle, unless caught out on the crawl. When they're in a resting coil, putting your hand right on them would be surprisingly easy to do. When moving around in rocks, slow way down and look at everything at least three times! I doubt there's anyone here who has worked over their habitat, who hasn't had a thrilling or charming surprise or two. They can be very forgiving of trespass, but then again, they can be pretty twitchy. Specks are in my top 3 of favorite native rattlesnakes. (Helleri are near the bottom, ha ha ha.)

cheers
Yup, especially if you're in bright sun and they're just in the shadows:

Image

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jonathan
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:39 am
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Re: Looking for Mission Trails Regional Park herp partner

Post by jonathan » September 20th, 2018, 8:48 pm

Owen wrote:
Jimi wrote:
Be careful, they are very cryptic and several herpers have been bitten by putting their hand in the wrong place in that type of habitat.
Good advice. "Very cryptic" could be an understatement for specks. Besides sporting some pretty amazing background-matching they are also very disinclined to move or rattle, unless caught out on the crawl. When they're in a resting coil, putting your hand right on them would be surprisingly easy to do. When moving around in rocks, slow way down and look at everything at least three times! I doubt there's anyone here who has worked over their habitat, who hasn't had a thrilling or charming surprise or two. They can be very forgiving of trespass, but then again, they can be pretty twitchy. Specks are in my top 3 of favorite native rattlesnakes. (Helleri are near the bottom, ha ha ha.)

cheers
Yup, especially if you're in bright sun and they're just in the shadows:

Image

At the national meeting, put my face far too close to this crack before seeing what was making its way out almost perfectly aligned with the shadow.

Image

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