At last the last few days we have seen the sun with temperatures up to 28c which is very hot for England at the beginning of May. Yesterday I had noticed a very large toad in our main pond. The sides are steep and I was afraid that it could not get out so I moved it to our more natural pond which has sloping sides so that animals can get in and out easily. As I mentioned last week, this pond is currently full of tadpoles and it seemed an ideal home for the toad.
This morning we were showing some friend around the garden and they were fascinated with the number of tadpoles. I mentioned that as it was so warm the grass snakes might come out to feed on the tadpoles. As I said that I noticed the familiar tail of a grass snake.But to my surprise the large toad was being swallowed whole even though the size of the toad was about three times the circumference of the snake. After a few minutes the snake took fright and slid into the pond with the toad still in its mouth.
Not a good photo as things were moving quickly however you can see the snake’s mouth and the toad by the reeds on the right with the snake’s body curving to the left in the water.
Again the snake was frightened and took off into the undergrowth without the toad. Amazingly the toad was OK apart from a few scratches and a large amount of shock. He has been moved to another pond and seems to be recuperating OK.
The snake was about 80cm long and this was the first snake sighting this year. On another nature note the swallows have arrived back some five weeks later than they did last year!