Boomslang and Fiscal Shrike in mock combat

Not a real combat, we think, but quite an annoying encounter – for the snake.

Boomslang (Afrikaans) - Dispholidus typus - highly poisonous but non-aggressive

The birds around our house continuously watch and guard us against intruders such as snakes. They make a racket and fly and flutter around it until the snake has enough of it and moves away. This time it was only one bird, a fiscal shrike which called our attention. The little raskal was attacking the snake – surely not in earnest, but with quite some dedication.

A fiscal shrike all in a flutter

Nothing much happened, but the Boomslang definitely was pretty annoyed and reared and struck again and again, to no avail, of course.

Here it notices our presence – the photographer – and considers its options.
We have had a number of encounters with boomslange – one time curled up in our bathroom among the towels. It had retreated there to moult, eyes all glazed over. We gently shoohed her (?) into a bag and let her free outside. These snakes – though highly poisonous – are non-agressive and usually retreat quietly if encountered. They are on average 1,2 m growing up to 2 m. This one we calculated to be about 1,3 m+. It seems it has been living around our house for the last three years or more.

So much for now.
With love
Colleen & Walter

Betty’s Bay, 1 Feb, 2011

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