Wednesday, October 24, 2012

California Snorkeling & Herping

This post is somewhat late, since all this took place in early September (a month and a half ago), but we wanted to put up our pics of snorkeling and herping in southern California for your enjoyment. The snorkeling is at La Jolla Cove and the herping is in Riverside and San Diego Counties.
 A view from inside the cove in the morning
Mix of cormorants and sea lion feces.
Silly stingray thinks it's hidden
 Out in the open and surrounded by sea grass
 A fully torqued sea lion (above)
Sea lion and seal share the same spot (below)
 Checking me out made me a little nervous.
 Leopard shark (below) just passing by.
The cove is full of leopard sharks swimming in the shallows
Nothing better than a day full of snorkeling and herping....time for some land species. We found the below Boreal Toad near Lake Perris.
This was a small long-nosed snake we've found. 
Anza-Borrego and its surroundings are home to 4 rattlensnake species. We discovered 3 of them this trip. Below is a Red Diamond Rattlesnake we found in the lower flats.
Habitat shot of an oasis in the arid desert.
Bighorn sheep running up the rocks.
This one had a radio collar.
Apparently, this isn't the time of year for mountain kingsnakes that inhabit the higher elevations above the desert floor, but we did find some Pacific treefrogs, Western fence lizards, and Western skinks.
Glossy snake
The second rattlesnake species in the area, a sidewinder. 
A second, smaller sidewinder was found later. This one had nice coloring.
And the third rattlesnake species, a pretty little Speckled Rattlesnake. The Southern Pacific wasn't found this time around, but 3 out of 4 ain't bad.
A neonate Lyre Snake found on the same stretch of road as the above rattlesnake.
Anza-Borrego is one of the best places to go if you want to find Spotted Leaf-nosed Snakes. 
The most frustrating part of the trip was finding a very large (for the species) California Black-headed Snake out on the crawl at night, with half its body in a crevice and half sticking out. We found it on a rock face while looking for Granite Night Lizards. It managed to escape in between the time we captured it and the time we made it back to the car for the camera. Huge disappointment! (I jacked the below pic as a demo, not the actual one)
We did, however, find what we were looking for in the way of Granite Night Lizards, although it was just a single specimen.
You get the point. I love those odd. They behave like geckos, but are so flat and fun-looking. Anyway, that sums are our weekend of snorkeling and herping!

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