Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Grass Snakes in the Woods

Grass Snake, Ken Hill Wood, Norfolk
In May 2011 I made this This entry to my blog about the challenges of finding Grass Snakes in a local wood. At the time I made the rash commitment to developing my 'snake eyes' in other words my ability to spot Grass Snakes before they saw me and slithered away. Well a lot can happen in the best part of two years, a new baby for one and a wash out of a summer last year as well. So I never did get to develop my Snake spotting skills beyond recognising when I heard one slithering away at speed into the undergrowth.

On reflection I think part of the problem that I have is that I only have a very small window of time over lunch to look for Grass Snakes and not only is my time limited but the middle of the day of the hottest part of the day and when Snakes are at their most mobile and elusive.

Anyway enough excuses, today I was working out of an office in Snettisham and was able to spare a little time over lunch for a walk in the woods. The weather was wonderfully warm and I hoped as I set off to see and maybe photograph Grass Snakes. Straight away I heard and briefly saw a small Grass Snake slither away from me and disappear into the leaf litter.

I then managed to hear and briefly see a couple more Snakes and a loan Muntjac. As I headed back towards the road I heard a movement and froze as a Grass Snake sensing the air with it's tongue moved towards me, I had my compact camera to hand [a Panasonic Lumix TZ30] to hand, I had no time to play with the settings but by crouching dead still I managed to get a couple of OK shots, the one at the top of the page is a crop of the sharpest one that I managed.

I now feel inspired to go back and do better and continue to hone my Snake Eyes.

Today was also the first day this year that I have seen more than one species of Butterfly with a roadside Brimstone, lots of highly territorial Peacock's and a single Green Veined White.

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