Western Alps

After my very exhausting work season in the field/lab I needed some holidays with some mountains. Cause it was June, it was for sure not the best time for herping, but well up in the mountains, it should still be possible to find some cool critters. My friends Marvin and Sebastian also wanted to have a little trip, so we decided to go for Walser on the long June weekend of Corpus Christi. We arrived at the famous Walserspot where we were welcomed by a nice little sheepdog, what a good boy! We had quite good conditions for herping during the morning and the nice surroundings made herping there quite comfortable. But up there, we couldn't find anything and when I say nothing I mean nothing. During the next three days we had terrible conditions with thunderstorms and heat. The result was very few reptiles and no Vipera berus walser!  Sad and exhausted we drove to Malpensa airport have I said goodbye to my companions. They had labwork on the next day, while I had some free time to continue the journey by myself. I went to my nice little B&B to think about the next day. I had the choice between another hard day in walserland or searching for francisciredi and having fun in Ticino valleys. I decided to go for fun!

After crossing the border, the trip started to get a little bit better! A night high up in the mountains at my personal spot was successful even during these hot hot hot temperatures. I was able to find three asp vipers, one Salamandra and a Zamenis. During my journey through Switzerland with a lot of failures I found the one or other species and ended my Switzerland stay at my godfather’s house. I very enjoyed the stay and could start the drive to my last station!

Next destination: Heidelberg! My friend Lennart waited for me so we could herp a little bit and just enjoy some summer photo subjects! After we went to photograph some famous bee eater colony in Rheinland-Pfalz, we went night herping for some aliens. Our target was a huge alien frog - Lithobates catesbeianus. The lake in south Germany where you can find them is very strange. The only animal you hear there are boars and the call of bullfrogs. It seems that there live just alien species. The only things we could find in this lake were invasive species like Lepomis gibbosus and Orconectes limosus. We had to fight with mosquitos and wild boars, but at least we found several larvae of our target and one big bullfrog! Shortly after we catch the big adult frog we found a Natrix helvetica during its nightly hunt. No wonder that this snake goes nocturnal with this temperatures. After shooting the animals we went back to Lennart's home. The next day we just enjoyed some time at the bee eater colony and with some Bombinas. In the early afternoon I said goodbye to Lennart and his family and started my journey back to Bochum! Thank you Lennart and your family for the nice stay! :)