Berner Oberland, Switzerland; May 2011

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Berner Oberland, Switzerland; May 2011

Postby Mario Schweiger » Tue May 24, 2011 1:35 pm

continuance from......
http://www.fieldherping.eu/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=752

Friday, May 20th late evening we arrived from France in the Berner Oberland, Switzerland.
Saturday morning slowly all the participiants of the "mountain weekend" from the "Terrarienverein Mittelland" came up too.
The weather was very nice. only a few clouds on the mostly blue sky.

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the valley and the vipers habitats in the "Berner Oberland"


Therefore we all have been very expectant to find many vipers!
Short after we started walking (11:00 a.m.) we spotted the first Vipera aspis aspis (formerly V. a. atra). A black female in shedding stage.

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she looked crazy with her bluish eyes and ventral scales


The next herp was a basking slow worm, Anguis fragilis

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photo session with Anguis fragilis


Within approx. two hours we saw many more, all black and with blue eyes.

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black asp male


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... and from more close


A Coronella austriaca with shedding problems was the next observation.

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looking more close on it, it was full up to the throat with food, probabely an asp viper

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Again we saw more asp vipers, but only two "normal" ones, a brown female and a silvergrey male, unfortunately also in shedding stage.

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brown Vipera aspis aspis female


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he will be a very nice one after shedding: silvergrey Vipera aspis male


During a short walk at higher altitude 2 of the participiants found two Vipera berus. I have been far away from them - so no pics.
In the afternoon many clouds came up and it began to rain. Time for the Salamandra atra to come out.

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In the night I showed the participiants a powerpoint presentation from our trip to Morocco in Spring 2010.
Next morning the weather has been not so fine. Anyway, we drove up to higher elevations, where Vipera aspis is replaced by Vipera berus.
Erika Kappeler, climbing like a chamois found a last year youngster.

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Vipera berus photo session


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Vipera berus baby


Around noon Freddy and Erika Kappeler invited all to a barbeque at the aspis habitat.

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It was a very nice weekend in the Berner Oberland. All together we found 30 Vipera aspis (maybe a few double counted in the morning and afternoon, but not on sunday), 3 Vipera berus, 2 slow worms and 2 Coronella austriaca. Unfortunately most of the snakes have been short before shedding and showed not so nice colours during our stay.

Here again, I would like to say thanks to Erika and Freddy, and all the others for this nice weekend!

Mario
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Re: Berner Oberland, Switzerland; May 2011

Postby Gabriel Martínez » Tue May 24, 2011 2:11 pm

Nice report Mario. In France ursinii habitat seems like if it´s impossible to get a good day! I can´t imagine myself looking for vipers down to 10º.

Nice atra vipers (ssp / morph). The first one is like a horned Lamprophis fuliginosus sheding! Strange and beautiful snakes! And interesting the austriaca with a possible snake inside, I´m curious about ID of the snake eaten
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Re: Berner Oberland, Switzerland; May 2011

Postby Jeroen Speybroeck » Tue May 24, 2011 2:40 pm

Gabriel Martínez wrote:In France ursinii habitat seems like if it´s impossible to get a good day!


A bright morning after a stormy night et voila! =>

Image
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Re: Berner Oberland, Switzerland; May 2011

Postby Gabriel Martínez » Tue May 24, 2011 3:33 pm

Jeroen Speybroeck wrote:after a stormy night


I was talking about this. September-october= freezing in Mount Ventoux, in may= cold in Mount Ventoux, in july= storm in Mount Ventoux. What crazy and bad weather is it??? You have to understand I herp in mediterranean places and I can´t understand herps active with this weather. If I drive 1000kms and rain there or the weather is too cold I would think it´s bad for reptiles. But ursinii is totally adapted to cold weather. Maybe I will visit France soon and I may see this cold vipers active ;)
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Re: Berner Oberland, Switzerland; May 2011

Postby Jürgen Gebhart » Tue May 24, 2011 3:48 pm

I was in the same valley on friday morning!!! But I don`t had the luck like the group around Mario!

I arrived at 9.30 a.m. After a half hour of walking and no viperas suddenly some stones fall down from the mountains, I thought, wtf, look up the the mountain and saw a group of chamois [Rupicapra rupicapra] (hope that` s right) the first I saw in the wild!!!

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A half hour later I found the first vipera

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That one had a big meal inside, was in old skin and full of dirt.
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Dirty face
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After the short shooting I went back to my car, made short break and start searching again.

A few minutes later I found a black one, but also in blue
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Than more and more dark clouds were coming so I left the valley around 13.00 h and drove back home.
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Re: Berner Oberland, Switzerland; May 2011

Postby Andre Schmid » Tue May 24, 2011 4:17 pm

Nice founds Mario...but the melanistic atras...like last year in blue...shit happens :?
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Re: Berner Oberland, Switzerland; May 2011

Postby Jeroen Speybroeck » Tue May 24, 2011 4:31 pm

Andre Schmid wrote:Nice founds Mario...but the melanistic atras...like last year in blue...shit happens :?


Try July ;)
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Re: Berner Oberland, Switzerland; May 2011

Postby Mario Schweiger » Tue May 24, 2011 4:36 pm

Jeroen Speybroeck wrote:
Andre Schmid wrote:Nice founds Mario...but the melanistic atras...like last year in blue...shit happens :?


Try July ;)


We (Andre and I) have been up there in July last year :lol:

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Re: Berner Oberland, Switzerland; May 2011

Postby Jeroen Speybroeck » Tue May 24, 2011 6:50 pm

Tentative conclusion: the utter maximum of unpredictability ? :lol:
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Re: Berner Oberland, Switzerland; May 2011

Postby Bastien Comment » Tue May 24, 2011 7:00 pm

Oh yes, very nice founds indeed :-D
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