The first week of may, me and som friends spent in the vicinty of Alexandropoulis in north-eastern Greece looking for Europes largest viper species, the Ottoman Viper (Montivipera xanthina)
We was in this area from sunday to thursday, the last day we spent stopping several places on our way to the airport in Thessaloniki, which is around 3 hours drive from Alexandropoulis.
As usual(?) we did not exactly have luck with the weather. We had nice weather the first and the last day, with rain and lower temperatures in between. But anyway we found some nice animals in the area. Here is some pictures from the trip.
As usual there was plenty of these large legless lizards (Pseudopis apodis)
There was also plenty of the two species of tortoises that live in this area. I guess we saw in excess of a 100 specimens in total of Testudo hermanni boettgeri and Testudo graeca ibera, with the Spur-thighed Tortoise as the most common with perhaps 10:1
Near waters we also saw many Mauremys rivulata
A bit higher up in the forests we also found Bombina variegate and Bufo viridis
We also met with some german and austrian herpers/birders that gave me a tip about a road that should be full of amphibians at night time, one of them being Pelobates syriacus which I had never seen before.. I drowe up and down this road and only saw one animal, luckily this was the target species.
The grass snake is as always present in these areas (Natrix natrix persa)
For the first time when herping around the Mediterraen sea we was able to get close to, and photograph Montpellier Snakes.. I’ve been 4 trips and seen many, but the have alwasy escaped any contact at all – I havent got any chance to photograph them. This time we got close to no less than 4 specimens. 2 juveniles and 2 adult.
The last day, on the way to the airport I also met this beatiful Caspian Whip Snake in a dry riverbed close to Thessaloniki
And we also got lucky with our target species – the Ottoman Viper. We found in total 7 specimens, unfortunatly the ones we got to photograph was rather small and in pre-shed..
Some random stuff