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Morelia spilota mcdowelli
Today is the 6th anniversary of my joining Project Noah, and I was hoping to get out and about and spot something special to mark the occasion, but the weather had other ideas and forced me back indoors. C'est la vie, but I can't complain about the rain, particularly after such a severe drought. I didn't post this spotting at the time because I had already seen a python here just over a year ago (see notes), but my cat reminded me about this one this morning, and this spotting has its own story to tell, starting with lots and lots of commotion. On the day, from mid-morning and for several hours, dozens of birds were frantically squawking and they didn't let up. I knew it had to involve a snake or an owl, or some similar predatory animal to cause so much ado, but being off in a distant yard lulled me into paying them little attention. However, the commotion grew louder and drew ever closer until I finally saw a couple of magpies (Cracticus tibicen) in hot pursuit of a large python, and they were driving it right towards my yard. I remember saying loudly "Are you serious? Why me?"... and through the wire fence it came. Oh, happy days :-/ At least 2.5 metres (9 feet) in length, this was a large animal, and it was exhausted and irritable from hours of harassment, although its two magpie attackers continued to peck and squawk at it relentlessly. I ran to grab my camera, and when I returned I saw my two youngest cats had come to investigate. They were no more than a metre from the "now coiled and ready to strike at anything" snake, and its tight posture showed it really meant business. Having never been face-to-face with any snake, let alone a large python, they were as much curious as they were cautious. All animals know a predator when they see one, and they certainly knew this one was dangerous. We had a Mexican standoff, so I spoke to them gently to let them know I was coming and to actually "see me" so as not to spook them, before flushing them off to the side and away from the snake (1st and 2nd photos show the strike posture towards the cats. Needless to say, I had already moved them away before I took these photos). All-the-while the magpies were giving a running commentary, and they couldn't have cared less about me or the cats! Outnumbered, the python made a run for it through the fence and into my neighbour's yard, and of course the magpies followed. They were pecking at its tail, and even when close to the head they didn't let up. By this stage the poor animal was so sluggish and in no position to strike (5th photo), opting instead to flee towards the safety of the house and to disappear beneath it. And that's what happened. I didn't see it again that afternoon or evening, despite being on "python patrol", nor have I seen it since. My white cat (Lillie) still shows occasional jitters and is super-cautious when she's outside, particularly around those palms and shrubs, and I've learned to watch my cats to know what's happening in the yard. They are very wary, and if there's a snake about, they let me know. And that is exactly what Lillie did this morning. Her posture told me we may have another snake, and it could very well be... a python!
Dense foliage in a suburban backyard in Brisbane. A warm day had this python on the move, and no doubt caught out in the open. Carpet pythons may be encountered on the ground, draped across boughs of trees, or coiled up in undergrowth. They are frequently found residing in the roofs of houses, even in well-settled suburban areas. As the crow flies, I am only 3 kms from Brisbane's CBD.
A previous spotting of a python hunting a ringtail possum, also in my yard but a different snake. https://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/37... Lots of high anxiety in Dec 2017, but this new spotting was no-less anxious. Coincidentally, both spottings were amongst the same palms, but one was in the upper foliage, whereas the other was in the garden directly below.
Spotted on Sep 22, 2018
Submitted on Apr 21, 2019
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