Grass Snake– this very healthy looking adult Grass Snake, our largest native snake species and the only one to lay eggs, was doing what they tend to do in June- hunting newts in ponds, while newts are active at this time of year. Later they will hunt more in the damp grasslands they favour, searching for Frogs, Toads, mice etc. I was lucky to watch this one in Sussex this week, hunting Great Crested Newts- stealthily swimming through the pondweed, checking for scents with its forked tongue. Conditions: Sunny intervals. Temperature: Max 21 Min 15C.
Reptiles emerge from winter hibernation over these few weeks. Grass snakes still need to warm up every day before their cold blooded systems are energised. This young Grass Snake, darker than average but easy to identify from the yellow band at the back of the neck, warmed up every morning, down South,under a wooden sheet laid on the ground, before setting off to hunt tadpoles, frogs and insects around and in the nearby pond. Snakes spend the first few days following hibernation near their ‘hibernaculum’ or hibernating place. They themselves may be eaten by Hedgehogs, Weasels and Herons. Conditions: A mainly cloudy day with sunny spells and showers, including hailstones. Temperature: Max 11- Min 6c.