Follow in Nigel's Footsteps

Friday, 22 April 2016

Smooth Snake...

The Smooth Snake Coronella austriaca, our rarest native reptile and always a thrill to see. This stunner was one of the earliest I've seen. Not that it's an unusual time of the year to see them, just that they are so scare I've never found one so early in the reptile season before. The name comes from the smooth, keel-free scales whilst the tail length and colouration all indicate this one to be a male in breeding condition. More about Smooth Snakes can be found on my reptile page.

Smooth Snake Coronella austriaca Male: R. Harris
Smooth Snake Coronella austriaca: D.Helliar
Smooth Snake Coronella austriaca: R.Harris
Showing the round pupil, the large rostral scale,
the 3rd and 4th upper labials touching the eye
and divided nasal scale - all species traits for C. austriaca.
Add to this a list of great birds including loads of Dartford Warblers, a handful of Woodlarks, a Lesser-spotted Woodpecker, first Tree Pipits of the year and a single Sand Lizard Lacerta agilis and you have an awesome morning out in Dorset, one of my favourite counties.

Dartford Warbler,Dorset: D. Helliar
Dartford Warbler,Dorset: R. Harris
NB: taken from about 30 ft away, Nikon P900

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