Snake rescue at High Eske NR

10 Aug

10/8/16 Wednesday morning went to High Eske NR. Although this is the site I visit most on my own I have a sense of trepidation during the summer holidays and weekends. Although it can a paradise, at this time of year it can be invaded by the barbarians. Canoes, unruly fishermen, swimmers and even speed boats can spoil your day. For August this was a cold day so hopefully this would put off some anti-social activities. Had it to myself initially but wasn’t much to see with just the now common Little Egret and a Greenshank that I couldn’t see and may have just been a fly over. Having checked the pit walked south to check hedge at Eske Manor that often attracts the sort of commoner migrant that appears at this time of year. Only had a few Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Whitethroat that were likely just local breeders. However scanning the fields had a small covey of Grey Partridge. A year tick having yet to see any along Tophill Low NR approach road. Walked back north and round the back of the reserve. Spent some time on Pulfin NR but no sign of the family of Marsh Harrier that had nested in the area. Had a few butterflies including a Painted Lady. Also several Brown and Southern Hawkers.

Two weeks ago I seen a Corn Snake. Had no chance of rescuing it and thought I’d be lucky even to see it again. Amazingly in the same area, near the bridge over the north outlet, there it was again. Initially thought it was likely to be dead, but getting closer it was still moving. Despite it being cold it was more active than the first time.

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“Haven’t I seen you before?” Corn Snake at High Eske NR

Seemed to think it was a Rattlesnake, presumably a survival technique, as if I bothered it it drew it head back as though to strike and ‘rattled’ its tail. This wasn’t purely mimicry as I later found. Now I was stuck what to do as I had nothing to put in. However when I’d posted pictures on Facebook before my friend Mandy had said she could home it if I could catch it. Sent her a text.

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Minutes later Mandy phoned back and was shortly on the way with her father. The snake wasn’t showing any sign of fleeing so I went to look for a bag or somethings, never a problem at this litter strewn ‘beauty spot’. Found a bag but just couldn’t get it in. This is when it proved to be not just kidding.

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Snake bite.

Thought best to give up and wait for Mandy. Gently held it in place with my foot after covering its head with my hat. Although it did try to get away a few times, eventually relaxed was able to leave it unmolested. Shortly Mandy arrived and put me to same by just grabbing it behind the head and although it put up a fight into it in a pillow case.

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Mandy and the Serpent. Clearly an experienced snake wrangler.

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Snake in the bag

Walking back to the farm thought I saw an Otter swimming into the opposite bank of the river but didn’t reappear.

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2 Responses to “Snake rescue at High Eske NR”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Little Stint at High Eske NR | Erich's birding and biking blog - August 15, 2016

    […] poor so with nothing to detain me got to High Eske NR reasonably early. Hopefully less hectic than last visit. The water level was low and the summer islands were showing. At one time these islands were above […]

  2. 2016 in 12 picture | Erich's birding and biking blog - December 31, 2016

    […] Perversely my picture for July is an escaped/released Corn Snake found at High Eske NR on the 25th but it survived to provide material for a light hearted posting in August [see here]. […]

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