Update from Greece

I have been in Greece for 10 days now, and this has been the most amazing trip. I cannot wait to share photos and videos from this excursion which has easily been my most successful ever, having found many specimens of all the species I wanted to see as well as alot more.  Our first 4 days at Thrace in north-east Greece were fantastic, with observations of over 20 Ottoman vipers (Montivipera xanthina), we also managed to find a wonderful area by stopping randomly at the roadside were we found many vipers together with several Sand boas (Eryx jaculus) and many other snake and lizard species. The only negative side to Thrace was our failed findings of Blotched rat snake (Elaphe sauromates), we found 4 juvenile animals and a large adult that was hit by a jeep driving in front of us and Ilias and I had to act quickly to give the large snake a quick death 😦

Since I forgot my camera card reader, Ilias has loaned me one of his photographs of one of the Ottoman vipers were found from the first part of our trip:

Ottoman viper (Montivipera xanthina), 2nd May 2010, (C) Ilias Strachinis

The last 5 days we have been on Lemnos island, which Ilias knows well, here we had fantastic observations, including many Eastern spadefoot toads (Pelobates syriacus) found active at night. In addition other highlights include some Sand boas, especially a huge 80cm specimen that was very fat indeed after eating a large rat or small rabbit.

At the moment I am in Thessaloniki with Ilias after saying goodbye to Thomas and Bobby at the airport, and in the next week we will visit the Prespa lakes area, and I look forward to sharing photos of the 40 species we have found so far.

For now I will leave you with a short video I made on Lemnos:

By Matt Wilson

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