I shall try to get back into the habit of sharing my regular photos from Phuket on the blog. I have only 7 weeks or so left in Thailand before I return to Slovakia over the summer and the move to Egypt to start a new job.

Some casual hikes this weekend produced some nice finds, including two Wagler’s pit vipers (Tropidolaemus wagleri), a Reticulated python (Python reticulatus) and a much appreciated Dog-toothed cat snake (Boiga cynodon). This was only the third or fourth time I have seen this cat snake species, the one in the photos was nearly two metres long! The previous weekend a forest hike produced some Oriental vine snakes (Ahaetulla prasina) and an Elegant bronzeback (Dendrelaphis formosus). Outside the house one day an Ornate fly snake was seen several times as it hunted lizards near the balcony.

Here is a brief summary of the highlights of our trip to two regions of Thailand in April 2021. Click here to see the report and photo gallery or the image below.

A last minute highlight from the forests of Bala last night. Moments after having said “I can’t believe we haven’t seen a snake tonight” I turn a corner to see this gigantic Reticulated python slowly making its way across the road. Without doubt the largest snake I have ever seen. We estimate that it was close to six meters in length and incredibly thick. I managed only a few quick photos before it slowly turned back and retreated up a hillside. I doubt I will ever see such a snake again..

More photos from the trip to follow…

Reticulated python (Python reticulatus)
Reticulated python (Python reticulatus)

NEW THAILAND TRIPS ONLINE!

Finally I got around to publishing images from my Thailand road trips in December and February, they can be seen by clicking here. I now only have a matter of months left in Thailand as I will leave the country in June after four years of working here. I have a further two weeks for traveling around in April so hopefully there will be one final trip report before I leave..

What do you do when you can’t return to Europe in the summer holidays? Here is the answer. 10,000km, 39 amphibian species, 29 lizard species, 44 snake species as well as many amazing mammals and birds in just under five weeks of traveling Thailand.

Thanks to Kat for her continued patience and helping to organise some parts of the trip as well as thanks to the people who we spent time with during various parts of the trip; Andre, Tim, Bam, Rushen, Montri, Ton, Ian, Games, Andy, Alex (Coke) Mint, Bastian, Watinee, Man, Satawan, and Parinya and his crew. An extra special thank you to Ian and Games who joined us at several locations on this trip and provided regular advice and information for the entire trip. For some additional tips we thank Peter, Tom and Antonio.

See the report here.

Blue dots indicate search areas during the trip.

Greece 2019

Here is a trip report from my travels on the Greek islands this summer:

Here are extensive photo galleries from my two most recent trips. The first from North Sumatra, Indonesia in February and the second my Central and South Thailand road trip over the past 10 days.

During these two trips I saw a total of four live and 1 dead King cobra (Ophiophagus hannah). This doesn’t sound like much but it truly is! Click the links below.

North Sumatra:

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King cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) female guarding her nest

Central and South Thailand:

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King cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) from Central Thailand

I have been busy over the Christmas holidays so here is a short trip report with photos of what I have been up to. Please click here. All the best for 2019, I have some great trips planned, including an eagerly awaited return to Greece in the summer!

Have a smashing do lads and lasses!

Matt

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One of the little worms we found over the holidays © Peter Engelen

December update!

As we roll into December here are a collection of recent photos from Phuket and Khao Sok NP where I spent the past week on a school trip with some of my students. After a period of illness which caused me to cancel my trip to Sumatra I have managed to reschedule a few trips for the coming year;

December: Khao Sok NP (focussing more on birds and mammals in the areas surrounding the main lake)

February: Sumatra (Indonesia)

April: Central Thailand (Kaeng Krachen NP and everything in between!)

June/July: An eagerly awaited return to Greece (Cyclades islands, Ios, Sifnos, Milos etc)

Mangrove snake (Boiga dendrophila)

Wagler’s pit viper (Tropidolaemus wagleri)

Peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus)

Oriental scops owl (Otus sunia)

Wagler’s pit viper (Tropidolaemus wagleri)

Phuket day gecko (Cnemaspis phuketensis)

Copperhead racer (Coelognathus radiatus)

Phuket crested agama (Acanthosaura phuketensis)

Oldham’s bent-toed gecko (Cyrtodactylus oldhami)

Horned frog (Megophrys sp)

Sunda scops owl (Otus lempiji)

Hooded pitta (Pitta sordida)

Hooded pitta (Pitta sordida)

On Wednesday evening we went to feed our regular group of stray dogs at a local lake and occasionally this allows observations of Reticulated pythons (Python reticulatus) and other snakes. It started to rain and this usually increases the possibility of seeing a python, often slowly moving across a road. As we left the lake we could see a large truck stopped in the middle of the road, as we approached further we could see a large python crossing and the driver had stopped to let it cross. However this was in a fact a Brongersma’s short-tailed python, also known as a Blood python (Python brongersmai)! As the habitat on the other side of the road was just houses we decided to catch the python and release it nearby in a less populated place. Of course I had to take some photos before it disappeared into the vegetation.

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