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One of my garden snakes

Printed From: Reptiles and Amphibians of the UK
Category: Herpetofauna Native to the UK
Forum Name: Grass Snake
Forum Description: Forum for all issues concerning Natrix natrix
URL: http://www.herpetofauna.co.uk/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=4593
Printed Date: 26 Nov 2020 at 11:33pm
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 11.06 - http://www.webwizforums.com


Topic: One of my garden snakes
Posted By: Iowarth
Subject: One of my garden snakes
Date Posted: 12 Jul 2013 at 3:52pm
This lovely young female hunting around the pond today. Had to catch her for photo. We see quite a few but usually brief glimpses. But it is lovely to see them.



Chris


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Chris Davis, Site Administrator

Co-ordinator, Sand Lizard Captive Breeding Programme (RETIRED)



Replies:
Posted By: Suzy
Date Posted: 16 Jul 2013 at 1:25pm
Saw my first garden grassie  of this year at noon today. It was under one of my Coroline covers near to the compost bins. I have been trying to make the garden more snake friendly over the past few years and the compost bin the grass snakes went in last year (corrugated iron sides) has been filled with green garden rubbish in the hopes of it being attractive for egg-laying.




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Suz


Posted By: will
Date Posted: 16 Jul 2013 at 3:26pm
fingers crossed Suzy!Smile


Posted By: tim hamlett
Date Posted: 16 Jul 2013 at 5:32pm
lucky things!!! Smile

tim


Posted By: will
Date Posted: 16 Jul 2013 at 6:45pm
...just what I was thinking, Tim.  There's not much chance of grass snakes in my garden, although I did find this one about half a mile away at a common lizard site which I have been monitoring for the last twelve years and never seen a grassy there before (no idea how it could have go there - it's nowhere near any waterbodies!) so maybe there's hope after all..




Posted By: Suzy
Date Posted: 16 Jul 2013 at 11:46pm
Will, two years ago my brother and I saw a grass snake on a small heath that we've known for 40 years. Never seen one there before and wouldn't expect to as there is no water anywhere nearby. It was on the summit of flat topped hill/plateau. Nice to be surprised like that!

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Suz


Posted By: will
Date Posted: 17 Jul 2013 at 8:14am
Absolutely - hats off to an animal which can turn up like that, and which lacks wings or even legs to make these seemingly puzzling journeys! 


Posted By: daveg
Date Posted: 18 Jul 2013 at 4:40pm
Nice picture Will. What time of the day and temperature was the snake out and about? It must be rare to find grass snakes away from water  when day time temperatures are up to 30 deg c.


Posted By: will
Date Posted: 18 Jul 2013 at 6:05pm
Hi Dave - I saw the snake about a fortnight ago, just before the real heat started to kick in, so around 20degC at about 6pm; I should have made that clearer, sorry!


Posted By: daveg
Date Posted: 18 Jul 2013 at 7:48pm
Thanks Will, I live in North Dorset and am always on the lookout for grass snakes. Havent seen any live ones recently but know they must be around from several squashed dor examples. I think compost heaps near farms are probably the best bet otherwise we have 3 small rivers running through our town (Gillingham) that look like great habitat. Now its cooling off a bit 27 deg C at 19:45! I will go for a cycle and see what I can find.


Posted By: will
Date Posted: 19 Jul 2013 at 9:01am
good luck, hope it's not too hot - maybe a chance to see one swimmingWink


Posted By: Suzy
Date Posted: 25 Jul 2013 at 4:11pm
Well the hot weather seemed to drive all my slowies and the recently seen grassie out of sight! I checked places early morning and into the late evening, but zilch. Since it has cooled down, but in the low 20s,the slowies are all back where I expect to see them. Hopefully will see a grassie or two shortly as well.


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Suz


Posted By: daveg
Date Posted: 25 Jul 2013 at 5:27pm
Good luck with that and hope to see some pictures when you do! I need some inspiration to find grassies in my area which on the face of it would seem to offer some good habitat. Whats  the habitat like where you are Suzy? Maybe I need to find some large manure heaps on the local farms cause grass snakes are always attracted to them for egg laying.


Posted By: Suzy
Date Posted: 26 Jul 2013 at 12:42am
I have a large garden ending at a sunken stream (15ft down). All the gardens are interconnected so reptiles can pass through. Some are a bit wild where they edge onto the sunken stream, and in some places the stream is more or less level with the gardens. I have let about 15ft of grass go wild where it meets the banking above the stream. I have also left a 3-4ft strip go wild all down one side of a part of the garden where it joins the 15ft strip. So I have made a pathway in effect. In places I have put down Coroline covers. This L shaped habitat ends at a series of compost heaps where slow worms live and breed. Grass snakes, when about, also go into the compost heaps - I'm hoping for breeding! I have a pond 20 yards away from the composters where newts breed, but sadly not frogs although they use the pond. I live in a small town but am about 300yds from open countryside which is agricultural but also there are wilder parts. 

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Suz



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