Firstly, this post will be different since it’s the first one dedicated to animals which aren’t Birds. I was doing some dedicated Herping in the past few days due to the iNaturalist City Challenge, the challenge itself is another story. It destroyed my mind – mainly due to going to all the spots, taking all the pictures and then the workload of processing 300+ images in 3 days. Though, I was able to learn a lot about reptiles in my garden and beyond. From the geckos, to the amphibians and finally, my main target, Trimeresurus macrops. Right now I can’t see the positives since I’ve been overwhelmed by the strain of my efforts.
Starting with the Geckos, I found 3 species of House Gecko (Hemidactylus), I learnt their identifying features and it was interesting to see all the colour variations. Here they are below:
The challenge overloaded me in more ways than one, I couldn’t find some of the photos since there’s a flood of them. They can be found on my iNaturalist though. Alongside the House Geckos, I found a spectacular looking Common Four-clawed Gecko.
Alongside the Geckos, I familiarised myself with our resident Toads. One particular individual I found each night. I really enjoy how the amphibians aren’t bothered by your presence.
Since being more interested in Reptiles, I’ve been meaning to see more Snakes. In the past it’s only really been Golden Tree Snakes due to their abundance and diurnal nature. I got a location to look for Trimeresurus macrops (also known as Large-eyed Pit Viper or Kramer’s Pit Viper) from a very kind individual. I used the City Nature Challenge as an excuse to go visit the spot.
Two days ago, I visited the spot but left without seeing anything, accept my first Brown Tree Frog. Yesterday, on the last day of the challenge I went for a final check. I saw the same Brown Tree Frog and an Asian Painted Frog. The weather was really cool, I walked 2km along the path but couldn’t find a Snake.
I was almost back at the car, I felt a bit sad inside. But upon reaching the Brown Tree Frog and I noticed below, there was a delicate Trimeresurus macrops waiting in ambush! It was so small, it must have been a male. I think I moved my light too much as it got a bit scared and was ready to flee. Luckily I snapped a picture which was sharp on his exit! It was so exciting, to see one for the first time.
Over the past few days I learnt so much about some of the wildlife which was very unfamiliar to me. Seeing the Large-eyed Pit Viper was a particularly special experience for me and all the effort paid off. I will throw-in some birds to accompany my finishing paragraphs.
Yesterday, I missed a photo of my first sighting of a rare Malayan Night Heron whilst out taking pictures for the challenge. And at the macrops herp spot I think I must have seen a few Barn Owls, they were silhouetted so I couldn’t see if they were white. Not sure if there are bats that huge around here…
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