Viperine Snake (Natrix maura)

Well, since I have a blog for being at sea ( just recently restarted) I thought I should maybe start one for more terrestrial matters. So here we are, an Irishman in La Mancha.

Last break, as I write from my ship, I gave a course in Using Nature Photography in the Classroom to some primary and secondary school teachers with my friend Javi. We spent an afternoon out in my favourite birding spot, Peralvillo, where we found this Viperine Snake. They are quite common about La Mancha and can frequently be seen swimming in the water since they are semi-aquatic and eat fish by all accounts. They are not poisonous and rely on playing dead, or staying still, to avoid attention.

This wee chappy however had a bunch of budding photographers gagging for a decent macro shot so when we were finished we went to move it from the dirt road and that’s when it showed how feisty it is once bothered and coiled all 20-30 cms of it’s body before attempting some ferocious strikes at one of the guys as he used a stick to move it.

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