Steve's Herpetological Blog

An insight into the life of Steve, his research and the many books he reads

#SciFri

#SciFri: October Project Update

It’s been a while since I posted a project update so I thought now was the perfect time given the grey and gloomy weather, as a way to help distract you from the terrible weather. Unfortunately due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, I wasn’t able to get out to the field until early July. My intention was to get out in late April or early May to catch the grass snakes (my study species) as they came out of hibernation. Despite this late start, I had a productive July which was a sigh of relief given the stress and worry caused by not being able to get out in the field.

The same can’t be said for August and September which were very slow going due to the typical inclement British weather. Due to the heavy rainfall we had throughout these two months, access was limited to the fieldsite. Why was this I hear you ask? Well, a lot of the site is low-lying ground and with the additional rain a lot of it was flooded – including areas where my artificial cover objects are located. This made surveying not only impossible but also not safe so I’m glad I had a productive July, which is when I took most of the snake photos that I spammed social media with.

With a dark and cold winter ahead of us, I plan on spending my time writing what I’ve done this season up and also working to analyse the data collected. I’ve still got one more field season to go (next spring) so let’s hope the circumstance allow me to get out there and catch all the snakes. Until then, I’ve got enough to be getting on with which is a relief and with the ever changing face of the pandemic, thankfully I can complete most of it from home. If you’ve got any specific questions about my research or my time in the field this summer, please leave a comment below.

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