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:


King cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) female guarding her nest

Central and South Thailand:

1Z8A1768 copy

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!



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.



I have not been feeling well for the past month or so which involved me cancelling my trip to Sumatra. Despite this I have felt a bit better lately and I have been out a couple of times looking for wildlife. The monsoon rains have not been so strong so far so I have mostly avoided getting caught out in stormy weather! I caught up with the endemic Phuket pit viper (Trimeresurus phuketensis) which I had not seen for a good number of months as well as a number of other species.

Currently I have plans for trip further a field to Kui Buri  NP, Kaeng Krachen NP in the dry season as well as a trip around the Greek islands in the summer after several years without visiting my favourite European country.


Smith’s litter frog (Leptobrachium smithi)


Blue-winged pitta (Pitta moluccensis)


Male Phuket pit viper (Trimeresurus phuketensis)


Phuket crested agama (Acanthosaura phuketensis)


Male Phuket pit viper (Trimeresurus phuketensis)


Male Phuket pit viper (Trimeresurus phuketensis)


Male Phuket pit viper (Trimeresurus phuketensis)


Malayan banded krait (Bungarus candidus)


Malayan banded krait (Bungarus candidus)


Malayan banded krait (Bungarus candidus)


Trefoil horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus trifoliatus)


Red-necked keelback (Rhabdophis subminiatus)


Sunbeam snake (Xenopeltis unicolor)


Asian vine snake (Ahaetulla prasina)


Malayan bridle snake (Dryocalamus subannulatus)


Malayan bridle snake (Dryocalamus subannulatus)


Coppersmith Barbet (Psilopogon haemacephalus)



Dog-toothed cat snake (Boiga cynodon)


Monocled cobra (Naja kaouthia)


Green cat snake (Boiga cyanea)



Phuket bent-toed gecko (Cyrtodactylus phuketensis)


Male Wagler’s pit viper (Tropidolaemus wagleri)


Wagler’s pit viper (Tropidolaemus wagleri) male


Wagler’s pit viper (Tropidolaemus wagleri) male


Wagler’s pit viper (Tropidolaemus wagleri) male


Elegant bronzeback (Dendrelaphis formosus)


Cinnamon tree frog (Nyctixalus pictus)


Horned frog (Megophrys sp)


Horned frog (Megophrys sp)


Sunda scops owl (Otus lempiji)


White-handed gibbon (Hylobates lar)


Blanford’s flying lizard (Draco blanfordii)


Barn owl (Tyto alba)


Barn owl (Tyto alba)


Water monitor (Varanus salvator) youngster

I am now back in Thailand after a busy summer where I spent time in the UAE, Slovakia, Hungary and the UK. I have added three photo galleries from these trips which can be viewed on the links below.

United Arab Emirates photo gallery (June 2018)

Slovakia and Hungary photo gallery (July 2018)

UK moorland owls gallery (July 2018)

Back in Phuket and I have had a few nice observations this past week. A three metre Reticulated python (Python reticulatus) crossed the road in front of my car whilst out herping with Norbert. The same evening around ten Asian vine snakes (Ahaetulla prasina), a female Wagler’s pit viper (Tropidolaemus wagleri) as well as a number of lizard and amphibian species. Then as I dropped Norbert off back home a baby python was crossing the road in front of his house.

On a different day I moved a beautiful Dog-toothed cat snake (Boiga cynodon) from a Buddhist temple toilet into the nearby forest and while looking for Oriental Bay owls we found two Striped bronzebacks (Dendrelaphis caudolineatus) our favourite restaurant. On a different afternoon a Clouded monitor lizard (Varanus nebulosus) and an Ornate flying snake (Chrysopelea ornata) crossed the road as I was driving around the island.


Reticulated python (Python reticulatus)


Wagler’s pit viper (Tropidolaemus wagleri) female


Dog-toothed cat snake (Boiga cynodon)


Clouded monitor lizard (Varanus nebulosus)


Ornate flying snake (Chrysopelea ornata)


Striped bronzeback (Dendrelaphis caudolineatus)

A year in Thailand!

It has nearly been a year since I moved to Thailand and there is not a day that goes by where I regret my decision. Professionally I now teach in a wonderful international school filled with students who wish to learn and a very supportive staff. From another point of view more relevant to my website is that I can explore my interest in herpetology in much greater depth having so many species living on my doorstep.

On Saturday I will fly to the United Arab Emirates for a week long field trip, swapping rainforest for desert. After that I will travel on to Slovakia and Hungary before heading back for a short while to the UK. By early August I will be back in Thailand!

Below are a collection of some of my photos from Phuket and southern Thailand this past year.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Last night while out looking for bats with Kat and Paul we came across a fantastic scene. This large Wagler’s pit viper (Tropidolaemus wagleri) was striking at bats as they were flying past. It only just missed a meal on a number of occasions and continued to move up and down the branch to try and get a better position for a strike. Despite watching it for over half an hour it was not successful, however I’m sure this is a good hunting spot for the snake with so many bats flying through every night

%d bloggers like this: