I spent a great day yesterday (Saturday, 29 May) visiting a variety of parks in Orange County and Rockland County in downstate New York with a fellow Queens birder, Seth, and a Rockland County birder, Gene.  Though, really, to call either of them “birder” doesn’t give a complete picture of what they are about considering the diverse array of life forms that pique their interest.  Over the course of the day we looked at birds and plants and dragonflies and reptiles and mammals and butterflies and amphibians and more but a single blog post could not contain the images I got of all of those things.  This post, therefore, is focused on just herps, that is, amphibians and reptiles…and just the ones of which I got decent images.

Both shots above are of a Milk Snake Lampropeltis triangulum.

The shots above are of Eastern Newts Notophthalmus viridescens in the Red Eft phase of their lives.

American Bullfrog Rana catesbeiana is above and Green Frog Rana clamitans is below; they are two of four frog species we heard or saw for the day.

Below is an about-to-shed Black Rat Snake Elaphe obsoleta (note the blue eye) followed by two shots of my first-ever Timber Rattlesnake Crotalus horridus.

Many thanks to Seth and Gene for sharing their knowledge and company on what was an outstanding outing across two counties.  I learned a ton, saw a bunch, and had a great time!

Written by Corey
Corey is a New Yorker who lived most of his life in upstate New York but has lived in Queens since 2008. He's only been birding since 2005 but has garnered a respectable life list by birding whenever he wasn't working as a union representative or spending time with his family. He lives in Forest Hills with Daisy and Desmond Shearwater. His bird photographs have appeared on the Today Show, in Birding, Living Bird Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and many other fine publications. He is also the author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of New York.