Some Herping in the Hunter Valley

Discussion in 'Field Herping and Reptile Studies' started by GeckPhotographer, Jul 4, 2011.

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  1. GeckPhotographer

    GeckPhotographer Very Well-Known Member

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    Well I went out to a party in the Hunter Valley on Saturday and right next to the field the party was in was a beautiful hill that just looked ideal for reptiles. Winter and all, ever the opportunist I decided to go for a walk up it and see what I could find.

    It was sunny and warm even though winter and I saw two of these Copper-tailed Skinks (Ctenotus taeniolatus) enjoying sitting on some rocks, although I suspect bucket load more were sitting beneath the rocks. This just ended up to be the best picture of a Copper-tail I have taken, it helps immensely when they are not so warm they dash when you are metres away from them.

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    Ctenotus taeniolatus by Stephen Mahony, on Flickr

    Flipping rocks and logs is illegal but fortunately an avid herper can always pull the loophole on a piece of metal, cardboard or other artificial habitat. Flipping over an old oil drum I found this Rugose Toadlet (Uperoleia rugosa).

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    Uperoleia rugosa by Stephen Mahony, on Flickr

    Higher up the hill I was inspecting rock cracks for skinks when I was surprised to find a Thick-tailed Gecko (Underwoodisaurus milli), I was surprised to find this as I expected all of them to be deeper under large rocks or in deep cracks. I took some pictures of this little guy which was probably last seasons hatchling without extracting or disturbing him too much.

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    Nephrurus milli (Underwoodisaurus milli) by Stephen Mahony, on Flickr

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    Nephrurus milli (Nephrurus milli) by Stephen Mahony, on Flickr

    (The first pic was actually taken second, the flash seemed to cause him to move around a bit and he almost came out at one stage at which point I decided to call it quits for his sake.)

    I also found an Egernia striolata (I presume it was not E.saxatilis but cannot be certain), but got no pictures as it was in a vertical crevice, and an Egernia whitii, that when I got near poked its head back under its rock and refused to come out again.

    Here are some habitat shots.

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    Habitat by Stephen Mahony, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    Habitat by Stephen Mahony, on Flickr
     
  2. waruikazi

    waruikazi Legendary

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    Nice work! I wish i could find gecks, all i ever find are snakes.
     
  3. SnakeNBake

    SnakeNBake Not so new Member

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    Nice finds! Thanks for sharing
     
  4. TaraLeigh

    TaraLeigh Well-Known Member

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    Sweet. Would have been a pretty cool experience for you. Well done on some awesome shots!
     
  5. GeckPhotographer

    GeckPhotographer Very Well-Known Member

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    I was pretty chuffed to get decent shots of C.taeniolatus and I had not photographed U.rugosa before so I was happy with that two. I was not at all surprised but still a little disappointed that I did not see a Furina diadema which has been on my too see list for a while now.
     
  6. jordanmulder

    jordanmulder Well-Known Member

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    did better than I did, I just went to the bush near my place and although I could here some litora fallax calling from some vegetation near a permenant puddle I couldn't find the little buggers.
     
  7. dihsmaj

    dihsmaj Very Well-Known Member

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    Did better than I did, been to a lot of parks and ideal places for reptiles/amphibians but nothing. Not even an insect.
     
  8. danny81

    danny81 Not so new Member

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    nice pics wait till the weather warms up and go back to the same spot you might find broadtail gecks aswell as robust velvets and stone geckos also red naped and dwyers snakes are common at night
     
  9. GeckPhotographer

    GeckPhotographer Very Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I see Robust Velvets pretty often (they live on my wall), but I will definitely be trying to do some herping out that way for the Red-naped. By Broadtails I presume you mean Phyllurus, I think we were too far out west to find those, but they too live on my walls anyway as well. I need to get some good D.vittatus pics though so that is this coming season as well.
     
  10. eipper

    eipper Very Well-Known Member APS Veteran

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    Stephen,

    Diadema are quite common around Scone in the Hunter

    Cheers,
    Scott
     
  11. Renenet

    Renenet Very Well-Known Member

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    Nice shots. I love your watermark, too. Right in the middle of the photo, yet so discreet. How do you put those in?
     
  12. GeckPhotographer

    GeckPhotographer Very Well-Known Member

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    I use a free program called TSR watermark image. It can be a little tricky depending on how you store your photos, but is overall the best free program I have tried out using.



    @Scott- Thanks, I really plan to do some looking this summer and Scone has been mentioned by a few people so it is definitely on the list.
     
  13. Laghairt

    Laghairt Suspended Banned

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    Thanks for posting mate, very nice pics. I love seeing the shots of these guys in the wild.
     
  14. snakeluvver

    snakeluvver Very Well-Known Member

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    Oh poor you ;)

    I went herping at the thickest area of rainforest on the Sunshine Coast and didnt even see a garden skink :? It seems I only see stuff when I least expect it.

    But I guess your pics show that it doesnt matter what time of year it is, you'll still see reptiles. Half the reptiles I've seen were during winter.
     
  15. Treknotechelaps

    Treknotechelaps Not so new Member

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    Great shots...good one of the Copper Tail, nice position
    When i went herping in the Blue Mountains Copper Tails were everywhere, so were Small-eyed Snakes and Leseur's Velvet Geckos, but missed out on seeing a Broad-headed Snake :?
    Definately is alot easier taking pics when the weather is cooler, some species you can only locate generally in the cooler months.
     
  16. Smithers

    Smithers Very Well-Known Member

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    Kool pics looked like a nice day for it, thanks for posting Steve ;)
     
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