Live From The Beaches of Alabama

Wildlife,bugs, beasts, and all non-bird species

Live From The Beaches of Alabama

Postby tozjohn » Fri Apr 17, 2015 12:31 am

The missus and I were strolling along the beach here in Gulf Shores at the Fort Morgan area looking for shorebirds when we happened onto this beach bunnie sunning themselves in the sand. Since we had previously read up on these critters in the south to be aware of whom they were we quickly realized that it was a Pit Viper, a Cottonmouth snake of the south. He was alive and seemed to be alert so we figured he was just resting. Thanks to telephoto lenses we were able to get some fairly good shot of him before detouring around to continue our journey. After we passed him we saw him slither into the bushes above the beach. However, when I got back to the room and downloaded the pics I noticed that he appeared to be injured, that there was a puncture mark on the side of his body bout halfway to his tail. It appears that it could be a talon mark left from a eagle, hawk or even possibly an osprey, all whom are seen overhead every day. I guess that whatever grabbed him soon realized exactly what he had and quickly dropped him on the beach. I know I would. We have seen a few of these snakes in our travels but this is the first time one was seen in the open where a photo was possible. One learns down here while birding that you make darn sure where yer putting your foot down, especially if you venture off the trails into the bush (something that I've been known to do more than occasionaly).

Ron and Linda Johnston
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada
presently in Gulf Shores, Alabama

Cottonmouth snake (Pit Viper) - Fort Morgan Hist. Site AL, April 8, 2015.jpg
This fella was lying on the beach near Fort Walton. He appeared to be about 4 ft long.
Cottonmouth snake (Pit Viper) - Fort Morgan Hist. Site AL, April 8, 2015.jpg (111.8 KiB) Viewed 469 times

Cottonmouth snake headshot - Fort Morgan Hist. Site AL, April 8, 2015.jpg
He was alert and watched us as we detoured around him before moving off into the bush.
Cottonmouth snake headshot - Fort Morgan Hist. Site AL, April 8, 2015.jpg (113.07 KiB) Viewed 469 times

Cottonmouthsnake with possible wound in side - Fort Morgan Hist. Site AL, April 8, 2015.jpg
Heres a pic of what appears to be a puncture wound in it's side, possible from the talon of an eagle, one of many seen flying in the area.
Cottonmouthsnake with possible wound in side - Fort Morgan Hist. Site AL, April 8, 2015.jpg (183.77 KiB) Viewed 469 times
tozjohn
 
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Location: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada

Re: Live From The Beaches of Alabama

Postby Danaduck » Fri Apr 17, 2015 10:20 am

A talon wound for sure. In Norfolk VA I once was working the boat house for a couple of weeks and in that time I saw an osprey grab a very large snake I assumed was a water moccasin and it took it straight to the nest where it showed the young how to kill it with a lot of jumping up and down and a big old head shot and a shake. Also watched one pick up a good sized turtle and drop it into the parking lot from about fifty feet up and break it open. Gulls also did this to hermit crabs.

I would guess the bird that picked up the cotton mouth you saw decided it had too much weight or the drop did not kill it.
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