Corfu 2011 photos!

No time for a field report from Corfu, as in two days I am off to Milos with Swiss friend Thomas Reich, so long as the volcanic ash stays away. Click on the image below to see photos from my trip to Corfu over the last 2 and a half weeks as well as a complete species list. The first week was non-stop herping with Carl and some days with Andy. The second week was the Gerald Durrell’s Corfu week by the Durrell School of Corfu. I was invited to be one of the weeks leaders, and we all had a fantastic time showing everyone around some untouched areas of Corfu and finding some nice wildlife along the way. Once again I would like to thank all 35 participants who made the week so very special.

By Matt Wilson

Part one of Greece 2011 almost over…

Today was the final day of the Gerald Durrell week and I have had a fantastic time teaching others about the amphibians and reptiles that inhabit Corfu. We have explored some fantastic locations over the last week and in the company of other experts it has been a fantastic tribute to Gerald Durrell and his childhood in Corfu. I would like to give a big thank you to Alex and David Ashcroft who invited me to come along and participate. I have also greatly benefitted from working with some renowned experts in Natural History such as David Bellamy and Dr David Shimwell to whom I am also very grateful for tolerating my ‘madness’ when it comes to jumping at snakes. Tomorrow evening I fly back to Manchester and then after a few days back in the UK I will be making my way to Milos via Athens with Swiss friend Thomas Reich. I shall try and remember to take my card reader so that I can share some photos whilst I am there! For now I have stolen a photo from Carl of the Leopard snake (Zamenis situlus) that we found last week. A field report will have to wait until June, but I will upload my many pictures via Picasa web albums over the next few days.

Leopard snake (Zamenis situlus) (C) Carl Corbidge

By Matt Wilson

Species list after 9 days in Corfu

As I previously mentioned I will not be able to post photos until I get back from Corfu on 23rd May. However after 9 days of field work I have been able to observe the majority of species found on my favorite island. I am still here for a week but I will be working with the Durrell School of Corfu, so here is a list of what I have seen during my 9 days of searching:

Species list

  1. Smooth newt (Lissotriton vulgaris ssp graeca)
  2. Common tree frog (Hyla arborea)
  3. Green toad (Bufo viridis) only 2 adults, many juveniles
  4. Common toad (Bufo bufo ssp spinosus) Common after rain at night
  5. Agile frog (Rana dalmatina)
  6. Marsh frog (Pelophylax ridibundus)
  7. Epirus water frog (Pelophylax epeiroticus)
  8. Hermann’s tortoise (Testudo hermanni) 15+
  9. Balkan terrapin (Mauremys rivulata)
  10. European pond terrapin (Emys orbicularis)
  11. Turkish gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus) Common
  12. Starred agama (Laudakia stellio) About 15
  13. Dalmation algyroides (Algyroides nigropunctatus) Many many…
  14. Balkan green lizard (Lacerta trilineata) 100+
  15. Green lizard (Lacerta viridis) 3 adults
  16. Balkan wall lizard (Podarcis tauricus ssp ionica) only 2
  17. Snake-eyed skink (Ablepharus kitaibelli) only 2
  18. Greek slow worm (Anguis graeca) 9 specimens
  19. Glass lizard (Pseudopus apodus) 20+ specimens
  20. Sand boa (Eryx jaculus) 1 adult of 50cm
  21. Balkan whip snake (Hierophis gemonensis) 6 specimens
  22. Large whip snake (Dolichophis caspius) only one adult
  23. Dahl’s whip snake (Platyceps najadum) 5 specimens
  24. Grass snake (Natrix natrix ssp persa) 8 specimens
  25. Dice snake (Natrix tesselata) 4 specimens, including one melanistic
  26. Four-lined snake (Elaphe quatuorlineata) 2 adults (incl one of almost 200cm), 2 juveniles (+1 dor)
  27. Leopard snake (Zamenis situlus) one adult
  28. Montpellier snake (Malpolon insignitus) 9 (+3 dor)
  29. Cat snake (Telescopus fallax) only 1
  30. Nose-horned viper (Vipera ammodytes) 1 female (+2 dead specimens)
By Matt Wilson

Corfu update!

After 6 days in the field in Corfu I’ve already seen 29 species, including 10 species of snake, and some of which are very rarely seen on this island. Unfortunately I probably will not be able to add any photos until around 20th May, but rest assured I have taken plenty of nice photos. Between chasing Montpellier snakes in the grass, playing with two metre Four-lined snakes and searching roads on rainy nights I have also been planning for the Gerald Durrell’s Corfu week that begins on Monday where I hope to share my knowledge about reptiles and amphibians on Corfu with the visitors. It looks set to be a fantastic week celebrating the youth of Gerald Durrell and his childhood explorations on this fantastic island.

By Matt Wilson

Back to my favorite island

The ancient olive groves of Corfu are among my favorite places to look for reptiles (C) Matt Wilson

Tomorrow I’m off to Corfu, first a week exploring my favorite spots on the island for herps, and surely finding some new areas along the way. From 13th-22nd May I will have the great pleasure of working with the Durrell School of Corfu on their Gerald Durrell week, and I’m sure I can help to find some nice animals to show the visitors 🙂 Only a few days break after that before going to Milos via Athens to search for the rare and endemic vipers, as well as the other beautiful species found on this unique island in the Cyclades. So expect lots and lots of photos from 6th June when my lengthy field work is over 🙂

Corfu in the spring never disappoints and I expect to be finding lots of herps over the next few weeks, and hopefully at the same time, introducing others to the fabulous species on this island which have captivated me since I was a youngster.

By Matt Wilson