Swedish smooth

Norway, Sweden, Finland, Baltic Republics

Swedish smooth

Postby Kristian Munkholm » Sun Sep 15, 2013 12:53 pm

While my obsession with lists is not by any means of Jeroenesque dimensions (then again, neither are my herping accomplishments) I have for years been slightly annoyed at never having turned up a smooth snake. Granted, I haven't really searched for any, as they are sadly extirpated from Denmark and I simply don't get out of this country enough - particularly to go herping.

Anyway, last weekend I finally got around to doing something about it. I had time on my hands and the weather forecast looked fine so I drove to a well known Swedish spot and started searching.

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At first, I turned up only common toads, but after about just ½ hour there it was - a beautiful adult male smooth snake. I was overjoyed and it seemed to me one of the most attractive snakes I had ever seen.

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After some more toads and an agile frog I found my second smooth snake about an hour and a half later, a cute little juvie.

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More toads, a slow worm, a grass snake and an hour later, juvie #2.

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I called it a day, camped in the woods to the sounds of chirping grasshopppers, hooting owls, barking roe deer and roaring moose. Next day started with a hike in the woods and meadows followed by a dip in the ocean and a nice cup of coffee in the backyard at a cozy and very Swedish cafe in a small town nearby before I went back to searching for smooth snakes again in the afternoon. Along with more common toads, agile frogs, grass snakes, slow worms and viviparous lizards I turned up two, one juvie and one adult.

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Camped in the woods again at night and drove back home the next morning - not a bad weekend :)
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Re: Swedish smooth

Postby Niklas Ban » Sun Sep 15, 2013 1:16 pm

Sounds like a very cool weekend! The moose would disturbe me a little bit :lol:
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Re: Swedish smooth

Postby Jürgen Gebhart » Sun Sep 15, 2013 4:10 pm

Congrats!!!
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Re: Swedish smooth

Postby Tom Hoogesteger » Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:21 am

Ahh, the very first encounter with a smooth snake must be the most exciting and magical moment in a herper's life :D . Very, very nice! Congratulations!
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Re: Swedish smooth

Postby Kristian Munkholm » Mon Sep 16, 2013 8:30 am

Thanks for the replies :)

Niklas Ban wrote:The moose would disturbe me a little bit :lol:


It was calling from a considerable distance so nothing nerve wracking about it :(

To Hoogesteger wrote:Ahh, the very first encounter with a smooth snake must be the most exciting and magical moment in a herper's life :D .


I can think of other moments to rival it ;-)

It was nice, though.
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Re: Swedish smooth

Postby Alexandre Roux » Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:48 am

Next time, melanistic?
Wonderful animals you've seen.
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Re: Swedish smooth

Postby Matthijs Hollanders » Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:28 pm

Looks like a really fun place to herp. You must have been really desperate to see a smooth snake if it was the most beautiful snake to you. ;)
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Re: Swedish smooth

Postby Kristian Munkholm » Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:24 pm

Matthijs Hollanders wrote:You must have been really desperate to see a smooth snake if it was the most beautiful snake to you. ;)


I guess I was pretty desparate :roll:

Sure I've seen plenty other snakes that would leave much more of an impression on most people, still think the first one was really pretty, though.

The final one, otoh, was rather ugly :lol:
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