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Old 28-03-2011, 09:51 PM
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Default Herping Blunders

Come on, we've all had some, just silly little things we've done, mistakes we've made, that made us feel ridiculous at the time... so share!

Once in Halikiki/ Chalcidice/ Chalkidiki (however you spell it!), Greece we stopped by the side of a road in some suitable country for herping by a dry rock slope (actually, it was more of a cliff...).

Things were going well, I'd found several Green lizards, wall lizards and a few Snake-Eyed skinks and was feeling elated... when I happened to approach the cliff edge and look down... there, basking halfway down, was part of what looked like an ENORMOUS Four-Lined snake amongst all the rocks... I had my binoculars with me and through them I could see scales... so I started to climb down.

I lost sight of the snake on the way down so my buddy had to stay on the cliff top and call out directions... however when I reached the place where the snake was, what should I find but an old hose pipe... apparently they decorate them with a "scale-like" pattern for some reason in Greece and the elements had bleached it into that brown colour...

The worst part was that getting back up the cliff was a lot harder than getting down, and I knew at the top I would have to put up with my mates jokes...
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Old 28-03-2011, 09:53 PM
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Another time I was birdwatching from a hide at Fowlmere, there were a group of us in the hide and our attention was caught by a very unusual bird fluttering and flapping in the reedbeds... every pair of binoculars in the hide was turned to this unusual thing we had seen, but nobody knew what sort of bird it might be.

Just then the deer stood up from the where it had been lying in the reeds. What we had all been watching and arguing about for the last half hour had been its ears twitching. Doh!
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Old 28-03-2011, 09:59 PM
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at the first one!
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Old 28-03-2011, 11:00 PM
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Should have told them it was dead lol.
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Old 30-03-2011, 08:37 PM
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have mentioned these events before but the only 2 herping blunders that I can recall involve getting bitten by venemous snakes, although blunder number 1 could be split into 1a and 1 b.
1.My friend and I were going on a field herping trip to France for a week, everything was sorted out, all the paperwork was together and all systems go. I was running slightly late and so we jumped into the car and sped off towards Bristol airport, 4 miles later I realise that I had left the key of the house we were staying in back at home. We got to the airport 10 mins after they had stopped check in.
We then had to change our flight from Bordeaux to La Rochelle which was further up the coast. Arriving in La Rochelle we found there was no car hire availability so we took a cab to the train station, a train to Bourdeaux and then a taxi to the airport arriving late at night. We then slept on the floor until morning when we claimed our hire car which they had held back for us. The situation was sweetened by finding Natterjack toads across the road on some waste ground.
The rest of the holiday went great and we found plenty of stuff until the last afternoon when I grabbed what looked like the back end of a Viperine snake disappearing beneath a log. I thought to myself "these markings don't look right" and then the Asp that I was actually holding shot out and bit me on the finger. I knew instantly what it was and what that meant in realistic terms regarding our holiday.
I had booked the car and so only I was insured to drive it but my hand was swelling and I did not know if I would pass out while driving etc. My friend had never driven on the right hand side of the road before but we managed to drive the 40 miles to hospital ok but the drive frightened me more than the bite did.Wer had checked out a small hospital enroute with no luck but they rang ahead to the other hospital for us.
I walked in expecting maybe a check up, an injection and being told to rest but OH NO! "Get your clothes off, get into bed" I spent the next 3 days on a drip with my arm in the air. My friend was stuck 40 miles away as he was not supposed to drive and my wife was at home ringing insurance companies, easyjet, car hire company and the place where I worked.
As I left after 3 days the doctor said "you are not to drive a car and don't mess about with snakes" . Well my friend could not drive so I had to and on the way back we stopped in a layby and I caught a Western whip snake.


2. I was at a local Adder site and had placed an Adder onto some short grass to take a better photo (I was taking close ups of head scalation for ID purposes) I moved in with the compact camera for one more close up when BANG it had me on the end of the finger. I put the camera down and immediatly milked all the blood from my finger hopefully flushing out any venom. Following my french experience I thought I would be ok and continued herping for an hour or so. When I got home my girlfriend took me to casualty for a check up. There was an Australian doctor on duty who checked me over, talked about australian snakes etc and told me to go home. As I only live round the corner he told me to take it easy and return if I started to feel unwell. I was ok except for a rather swollen armpit.

Last edited by kettykev; 30-03-2011 at 08:38 PM.
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Old 30-03-2011, 09:44 PM
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Ouch! Thanks for sharing!
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Old 30-03-2011, 09:59 PM
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Not herping, but wildlife watching:

Saw a VERY pecliar BOP flying above a field on the east coast of Scotland. Outline and flight pattern were completely alien to me, even though I only caught a glimpse of it, so I got my flatmate (who was driving at the time) to do an emergency stop and we both leapt out of the car brandishing our bins... only to see something similar to this:

Scare'm Bird Scaring Kite | Scare’m Kite – Hawk
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Old 30-03-2011, 10:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sam View Post
Not herping, but wildlife watching:

Saw a VERY pecliar BOP flying above a field on the east coast of Scotland. Outline and flight pattern were completely alien to me, even though I only caught a glimpse of it, so I got my flatmate (who was driving at the time) to do an emergency stop and we both leapt out of the car brandishing our bins... only to see something similar to this:

Scare'm Bird Scaring Kite | Scare’m Kite – Hawk


We had loads of them in fields that were full of sunflowers. when i first saw them I thought they were real.
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Old 30-03-2011, 10:13 PM
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Actually, that reminds me of another annoying "mistake" I've often made concerning birds of prey... when driving in Spain, you get all sorts of raptors and vultures - honey buzzards, red and black kites, booted eagles, golden eagles, short-toed eagles, griffon, black and egyptian vultures to name a few.

But one of the species we most wanted to see was the Eleanora's falcon... a species that happens to look an awful look like a pigeon from a car going at high speeds along a carriageway...

Suffice to say, we've seen plenty of pigeons, but not many Eleanora's falcons...
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Old 31-03-2011, 02:38 AM
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Ouch..... V. aspis....I bet that was painful!
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