Herp Update: March 4 – watersnakes on the move
The warm weather last week brought Common Watersnakes out of their dens at at least two locations. Both dens were located near open seeps and apparently were shallow and heated by the ground water (cold but above freezing). For some reason not entirely clear to me, they came out to bask on the snow. The one in Poultney reported by Sylvia C died and was partially eaten. Those reported by Sherry C (photo below) in Whiting emerged and returned to their den on three different days last week. Apparently they survived, but Sherry said there was a Barred Owl in a tree near the seep. We had a similar report a few years ago at Bristol Pond where a Common Watersnake came out of a den, moved over the snow, and later died on the ice of the pond. The snake could be tracked backwards from the pond to its den by the tracks in the snow.
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