Last Summer we saw a Red-bellied Black Snake in our frog pond for the first time. We were amazed at how much at home it was in this environment as it searched the water and the pond surrounds for frogs - one of the favoured prey items of this species.
A couple of days ago we were treated to a return visit by a 1 metre long RBBS. Here it is at the edge of the pond, as it prepared to enter the water.
A close-up shot of a predator's face.
It made several forays into the water, giving me the opportunity to get some extended video footage. The video below shows just how much at home it was in the water. It swam to a row of tiles at the edge and loitered beneath them for some time - presumably waiting for passing frogs or tadpoles.
This individual clearly knows the pond very well as it systematically searched every potential amphibian hiding spot. It even slithered up into one of the clay pots in the middle of the pond and checked it out before returning to the rocks at the edge.
The next sequence shows the snake as it took a break from feeding. It slithered up onto some smooth stones at the edge of the pond and lay there for several minutes, soaking up the heat of the stones.
As it moved onto the rocks it encountered another, much smaller reptile - a Grass Sun-skink. This guy made a sudden retreat as the snake approached it!
You can see this happening in the video above. But in case you missed it, here is a single frame from the movie where I've pointed out the skink. Note how the snake continually extends its tongue as it moves over the stones - sniffing for potential terrestrial food items.
The snake clearly had a good feed in the pond - at times we could see it virtually vacuuming up tadpoles! But I can report that it left plenty behind - perhaps for the next feed.
Visits of the RBBS to the pond have become a regular occurrence. Here is a movie I made on 22/11/17 of the snake searching for frogs amongst the rocks around the pond.