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Tidbinbilla Red Bellies. Images of Canberra

Geoff_from_Lushpup_Images 22 December 2011 42

snake sunbake

Taken at the weekend out at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, a pair of Red Belly Black snakes (Pseudechis porphyriacus or ‘red bellies’) basking placidly in the sun – aren’t they beautiful!

I thought it might serve as a timely seasonal reminder for owners of pets and small children to vigilant about snakes as the warm weather approaches.

(Summer eh? who’d have thought it!)

[ED – Got an image of Canberra you want to share with the world? Email it to images@the-riotact.com , More of Geoff’s picture on Lushpup Images]


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42 Responses to Tidbinbilla Red Bellies. Images of Canberra
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Tooks Tooks 1:00 pm 06 Nov 13

Zombie thread! I love this photo. They’re my favourite snakes.

BimboGeek BimboGeek 12:26 pm 06 Nov 13

kumadude said :

The browns were huge and would rise up and stare you down, you could see the muscles rippling along their mouth….scariest s*** I have ever seen.

Sounds like a King Brown. We had a family of them in the bottom paddock. They are super aggressive and HUGE! When they rise up in cobra mode, they are tall enough to look you in the eye.

It’s also possible to be bitten by a King Brown without it putting on a big show. This happened to my grandmother. The only way she knew she had been bitten was because she started showing symptoms of poisoning, and by identifying the symptoms she was able to make a reasonably educated guess as to what had bit her and get treatment.

Luckily, their poison is extremely slow acting and it’s possible to achieve a mild natural immunity if you’re lucky enough to survive your first bite.

GardeningGirl GardeningGirl 11:27 am 06 Nov 13

Thumper said :

They are most beautiful snakes the old red bellies, generally seen near water.

The one we saw was on the wetlands walk.

maxblues said :

. . Once at Tidbinbilla, I saw a researcher taking water samples from a creek. I told him not to take a step backwards because there was a red belly black right behind him. He froze, realized I wasn’t joking, then slowly stepped forward. The snake couldn’t care less and we were able to line up my mate’s kids to watch the snake slowly make its way along the creek.

Nice to hear of kids getting to appreciate nature. Nice that you noticed the snake and all involved were able to happily go on their way!

Thumper Thumper 8:23 am 06 Nov 13

Oh, I should have added that they quite like eating brown snakes.

Thumper Thumper 8:23 am 06 Nov 13

They are most beautiful snakes the old red bellies, generally seen near water.

kumadude kumadude 7:39 am 06 Nov 13

qbngeek said :

If you want to see some tiger snakes I recommend the archery range and dog club at Queanbeyan. There at at least four tigers calling it home at the moment, very nearly stepped on two of them a few weeks ago. It is also home to quite a few copperheads. I wouldn’t be surprised if we had blacks and browns as well.

The copperheads can often be seen on sunny days in the cooler months as they will hunt all year round if the weather is warm enough.

I fish the Queanbeyan a hell of alot and have red bellies swim past me three times below the small bridge. (Un)luckily I have not seen any tigers or copperheads yet, though a council guy told me there are a few around the bike track before it heads uphill to the cemetery. Living up the coast near Bangalow we had pythons, tree snakes, reds and browns. The browns were huge and would rise up and stare you down, you could see the muscles rippling along their mouth….scariest s*** I have ever seen.

milkman milkman 6:40 am 06 Nov 13

I’ve seen a couple of these at Tidbinbilla on one of the walking trails. One of them was sunning itself, and just stayed there while we walked (or rather cautiously hopped) right over him.

maxblues maxblues 8:32 pm 05 Nov 13

GardeningGirl said :

Great photo!

ConanOfCooma said :

Blacks will make it their mission to get out of your way, they are very timid and shy.

Mr Gardening was taking my photo at Tidbinbilla once… “go back a bit, step back, yeah, that’s good, NO, COME FORWARD RIGHT NOW!” Snake calmly slithered away to look for somewhere more peaceful than the side of the path.

Once at Tidbinbilla, I saw a researcher taking water samples from a creek. I told him not to take a step backwards because there was a red belly black right behind him. He froze, realized I wasn’t joking, then slowly stepped forward. The snake couldn’t care less and we were able to line up my mate’s kids to watch the snake slowly make its way along the creek.

Geoff_from_Lushpup_Images Geoff_from_Lushpup_Images 1:49 pm 29 Dec 11

Thank you everyone who took the time to leave a comment and say nice things 🙂

Merle Merle 5:16 pm 22 Dec 11

Gorgeous! I hope you backed away very slowly after this photo was taken, the fellow on the left looks a bit too interested.

qbngeek qbngeek 2:36 pm 22 Dec 11

If you want to see some tiger snakes I recommend the archery range and dog club at Queanbeyan. There at at least four tigers calling it home at the moment, very nearly stepped on two of them a few weeks ago. It is also home to quite a few copperheads. I wouldn’t be surprised if we had blacks and browns as well.

The copperheads can often be seen on sunny days in the cooler months as they will hunt all year round if the weather is warm enough.

EvanJames EvanJames 1:17 pm 22 Dec 11

dungfungus said :

I heard there were a lot of Copperheads around Cooma.

You tend to get Copperheads in the colder areas, there’s quite a population of them in the Snowies. And most of the Tigers I’ve ever seen have been up on the main range.

dungfungus dungfungus 12:58 pm 22 Dec 11

ConanOfCooma said :

Blacks will make it their mission to get out of your way, they are very timid and shy. I’ve never seen one angry, even with kids and dogs giving them a hard time – That said, I’m sure they’re more than capable of striking in anger. Like school teachers!

The general rule we go by down here is any snake in the wild is to be left alone, and the only snakes we kill on our property are Kings and Easterns, but only if they are near the house.

I heard there were a lot of Copperheads around Cooma.

Jethro Jethro 12:08 pm 22 Dec 11

watto23 said :

I live on the murrumbidgee corridor with a fire trail out back and in 10 years I’ve never seen a snake. They’d definately live in the grasslands though. I like all animals and wish i saw more snakes to photograph! Photographing roos, galahs and cockatoos is getting boring lol!

Head north a bit!. I’ve come across 3 browns in the past 12 months along the bicentennial trail running behind Macgregor and Dunlop.

EvanJames EvanJames 10:49 am 22 Dec 11

breda said :

No-one ever got bitten – they do seem to be at the low end of the aggression scale. Brown snakes are another matter entirely, IMO.

Yep. Those of us who experience snakes on a very regular basis lift a tired eyebrow at the people who are quite sure that all snakes will just scuttle away. Blacks seem to be quite sluggish, so you’ll often surprise them, but so far I’ve not had any come at me.

Browns seem to be supremely un-interested in leaving, and if you don’t notice them, things can get pretty nasty. I haven’t encountered any tigers in recent years but I’ve heard they are similarly pugnacious.

Dragon-type lizards are the same, they’ll stand and try to fight you. I almost tripped over a large bearded dragon the other day who was taking exception to my being there. He wasn’t going *anywhere*. As far as he was concerned, I was to leave, full stop.

Typsy McStaggers Typsy McStaggers 10:40 am 22 Dec 11

Brianna said :

fabforty said :

I saw a very long snake making its way across the Barton Highway a few weeks ago – a large Brown, I thought. Was pleased to see the cars actually stopped to let it cross instead of just mowing it down.

That’s good to hear. I love snakes and I’m tired of the attitude towards them. Sharks come into this category as well.

Can’t say I’ve ever had to stop the car for a shark 😉 I do understand your point

breda breda 9:48 am 22 Dec 11

Gorgeous photo, thanks.

A group of friends for many years spent our summer holidays in a part of the Royal National Park (south of Sydney) which had a large population of these. We often saw them around, but made a point of (a) looking where we were walking and (b) making plenty of noise/vibration when moving around in the bush. Many a time you’d see the tail of one retreating in front of you off the path.

No-one ever got bitten – they do seem to be at the low end of the aggression scale. Brown snakes are another matter entirely, IMO.

johnboy johnboy 9:37 am 22 Dec 11

Because they have magical snake sensing abilities?

steveu steveu 9:34 am 22 Dec 11

johnboy said :

old wives the cast majority of snakes out there have gotten out of your way without you ever knowing they were there.

The rare times you see a snake falls into exceptional circumstances and for whatever reason the snake has decided to stand its ground.

With all due respect John, I have to disagree. Have a chat to anyone who has grown up on a farm and listen to their point of view on this.

johnboy johnboy 9:25 am 22 Dec 11

steveu said :

Thank you for this reminder, some very good points – particularly about small children and pets.

My personal view is to treat every snake with a GREAT deal of respect, do not assume they are not interested in you and do not think they will ‘get out of the way before you get anywehre near them’ – old wives tale.

Extreme caution and respect people.

In fairness to the old wives the cast majority of snakes out there have gotten out of your way without you ever knowing they were there.

The rare times you see a snake falls into exceptional circumstances and for whatever reason the snake has decided to stand its ground.

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