Brookmans Park Newsletter Community Discussion Forum

General Discussion Boards => Environment => Topic started by: MStricks on September 06, 2009, 09:05:47 am

Title: Snake sightings in gardens or out in the wild
Post by: MStricks on September 06, 2009, 09:05:47 am
Was walking round the path around the pond and we came across this snake. It sat up and hissed at us then slithered down into the pond.

Can anyone tell me what kind of snake it is? We think grass, but it did have a viper like head (see last photo). Photos courtesy of my mate visiting from Hong Kong.
Title: Re: Snake sightings in gardens or out in the wild
Post by: Helen on September 06, 2009, 08:00:37 pm
Hi MStricks.

According to my husband (who used to keep snakes), it's a grass snake. He says that the ring/collar behind the head gives it away; grass snakes are also known as ringed snakes. If it was a viper it would have a diamond shaped head & a zigzag pattern down its back.

Hope that clarifies things.
Title: Re: Snake sightings in gardens or out in the wild
Post by: RayLo1 on September 06, 2009, 08:08:05 pm
   I can confirm that it is a grass snake. The collar is what idenifies it. The fact that it made for water is also a common trait as they often hunt fish and frogs.
Title: Re: Snake sightings in gardens or out in the wild
Post by: MStricks on September 06, 2009, 10:14:49 pm
Thanks

Has anyone else seen snakes in the woods there ?
Title: Re: Snake sightings in gardens or out in the wild
Post by: Susan on September 06, 2009, 10:42:18 pm
Gosh, you did well to get a picture! :) I saw one in April, by the long canal pond in Gobions, but it was too quick for me to get a proper look.

(I posted about it here: www.brookmans.com/forum/index.php?topic=1178.125 )

Title: Re: Snake sightings in gardens or out in the wild
Post by: Aloo on May 30, 2011, 06:18:27 pm
We took advantage of the lovely sunshine this morning to explore "walk 4" in Little Berkhampstead.   It was a beautiful day but we got a big shock as we saw a smooth snake.  My daughter was climbing a stile when we heard a rustling in the hedge and she saw a grey snake moving through it.   It was a highlight of our day!   

Have there been any other reports of smooth snakes in the area? :o

 :o
Title: Re: Snake sightings in gardens or out in the wild
Post by: epiphany on May 30, 2011, 09:30:29 pm
Wow, you were pretty lucky as they are quite rare.
Title: Re: Snake sightings in gardens or out in the wild
Post by: Dezza on May 30, 2011, 10:33:19 pm
Tumblioo.
Historically smooth snakes have never been sighted in Hertfordshire. Not only have they not been seen, but their habitat is primarily heathland
so I doubt it was a smooth snake you saw in Little Berkhampstead. I would suggest a large slow worm or perhaps a juvenile grass snake. Adders have occasionally been mistaken for smooth snakes, but I suggest that the weather yestarday was not favorable for adders.
Title: Re: Snake sightings in gardens or out in the wild
Post by: daisymay on May 31, 2011, 08:31:55 am
I had a smooth snake in my garden in Brickendon.
I took a photo and showed it to the reptile man at
paradise park and he confirmed it was a smooth snake.
Very rare. Approx 3500 in UK
Title: Re: Snake sightings in gardens or out in the wild
Post by: Bob Horrocks on May 31, 2011, 11:28:41 am
A few years ago I was walking along Footpath 11 from Bluebridge Road starting on the south side of the bridge. A few hundred yards along that path I saw a snake / slow worm in the grass which moved away quicker than I did!
Title: Re: Snake sightings in gardens or out in the wild
Post by: peppermint on June 02, 2011, 08:06:56 am
A few years ago (before the flood wall was built) I saw a dead adder on Warrengate Road just north of the bungalows.   
Title: Re: Snake sightings in gardens or out in the wild
Post by: Editor on June 14, 2017, 10:46:55 am
I disturbed a basking grass snake in our garden this morning. What a beautiful creature. It was soaking up the sun and became alert when I approached (I didn't see it at first). It then slithered away under the shed. The image below is not my photo, but is similar to what I saw. This image was taken by Bernard Dupont (https://www.flickr.com/photos/berniedup/14178349634) and released under Creative Commons BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/).
Title: Re: Snake sightings in gardens or out in the wild
Post by: Nobby on June 14, 2017, 06:49:24 pm
The Herts Natural History Society is compiling an atlas of mammal, amphibian and reptiles in the county. I'm sure they'd like to have your Grass Snake record David. You can enter it at http://www.hnhs.org/submit/mammals-amphibians-and-reptiles
Cracking photo.
Title: Re: Snake sightings in gardens or out in the wild
Post by: Editor on June 14, 2017, 08:36:58 pm
The Herts Natural History Society is compiling an atlas of mammal, amphibian and reptiles in the county. I'm sure they'd like to have your Grass Snake record David. You can enter it at http://www.hnhs.org/submit/mammals-amphibians-and-reptiles
Cracking photo.

Done, details entered. Thanks for suggesting. But I can take no credit for the picture. I will see if it's in the same place tomorrow morning and try to take a snap.
Title: Re: Snake sightings in gardens or out in the wild
Post by: Editor on June 15, 2017, 08:22:07 am
The grass snake was basking in the same spot, soaking up the early morning sunlight again today. Not great shots, but was on zoom. It moved seconds later and slid back under the shed. Shots below edited from original, with tech details for anyone interested.
Title: Re: Snake sightings in gardens or out in the wild
Post by: larrylamb on June 15, 2017, 09:38:00 am
Cant see from the photo, what was its size approximately?

Thanks
Title: Re: Snake sightings in gardens or out in the wild
Post by: Editor on June 15, 2017, 10:10:43 am
Cant see from the photo, what was its size approximately?

Thanks

Well my guess when it slithered away was about three foot (1m), but I just checked online (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grass_snake) and found that a female is about 2 ft 7 inch (80cm) and a male about 2 ft (60cm). My guess is that ours is an adult female. Was going to call it Stan but will have to have a rethink.  Suggested female names on a postcard, please.  :)
Title: Re: Snake sightings in gardens or out in the wild
Post by: larrylamb on June 15, 2017, 10:44:31 am
Was intending to strim the area at the back of the garden today but will leave it now as there is a chance we could have so snakes in attendance.

In terms of a name "Tiny" springs to mind.......  :icon_jokercolor:
Title: Re: Snake sightings in gardens or out in the wild
Post by: peppermint on June 15, 2017, 11:21:02 am
Hi David,

 The females lay up to 40 eggs in June and July.   That's something to look forward to!!

Title: Re: Snake sightings in gardens or out in the wild
Post by: Angel on June 15, 2017, 03:42:24 pm
Name suggestion:

Little Miss Muffet

June

Diane (as it's not an adder - sorry!!)
Title: Re: Snake sightings in gardens or out in the wild
Post by: Nobby on June 15, 2017, 07:05:43 pm
By coincidence I was at Rye Meads RSPB reserve today and a small grass snake swam across a lagoon in front of a hide, hotly pursued by a Coot.
Title: Re: Snake sightings in gardens or out in the wild
Post by: Editor on June 16, 2017, 08:42:34 am
Thanks for the name suggestions. Still deciding. Bit alarmed that we may have a family of them soon - but that's life. It's an honour to have such a beautiful reptile share our garden.

We had a post on our Facebook page from someone who found a grass snake skin (I am hoping) in Shenley before they moved here.


By the way, I read on Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grass_snake) that "In England, grass snakes are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and cannot be harmed or traded without a licence, although they may legally be captured and kept in captivity. Two of the subspecies are considered critically endangered: N. n. cetti (Sardinian grass snake) and  N. n. schweizeri."
Title: Re: Snake sightings in gardens or out in the wild
Post by: Nimbus on June 16, 2017, 10:36:32 am
Bit alarmed that we may have a family of them soon - but that's life.
Favoured nest sites are compost heaps, which generate the heat for incubation. The youngsters are something to look forward to. Young reptiles don't seem to have a juvenile body form, they just look like perfect miniatures of the adults. You may experience the same awe as when viewing an exquisite piece of jewellery!
Title: Re: Snake sightings in gardens or out in the wild
Post by: Editor on June 17, 2017, 08:20:26 pm


Sad end...