SC Reptiles and Amphibians


January 2009

Gene's Notes:

We had some warm days during the first full week of January. Win saw ducklings on Lake Thurmond on January 4th. The next day, I saw an adult Eastern Rat Snake (aka Black Rat Snake) dead on a road in Laurens County. I think this is my first sighting ever of a local snake about in the month of January.

On January 10th, Win found his farm cat battering a Golden Mouse. He was able to rescue it before it was seriously injured by the cat. I had been hoping to get a specimen to photograph for the last several years.

Win told me of an interesting bird encounter that he witnessed on January 27th. Unfortunately, he did not capture the event on video. He noticed a Tufted Titmouse busily moving about in a clump of smilax vines. The vines were heavy with red berries. After a few minutes, a Carolina Wren emerged from deep in the vines and began confronting the Titmouse. After much mutual verbal abuse, the two birds began to scuffle. The Titmouse apparently won and the Wren retreated into the vines. As the Titmouse strutted with pride of victory, a male Cooper's Hawk dived into the vines after the Titmouse. The hawk's attack was unsuccessful and it flew away. Neither song bird showed itself again.

January 31, 2009
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