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Photo Information
Copyright: Nigel Deacon (Merlin) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 445 W: 267 N: 455] (1713)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-04-24
Categories: Reptiles
Camera: Nikon D300, Nikkor AF-S 300mm f/4 ED+Nikon TC14EII
Exposure: f/7.1, 1/800 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2009-08-14 10:19
Viewed: 5919
Points: 34
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I will be away for a while, so I was looking through the collection to find something to post. This is my first attempt at a large post (click on the thumbnail to get the larger image, if I can make it work ;).

This is another posting showing the Viperine snake, Natrix maura with carp prey.

On this occasion, the redder of the two snakes has landed a fairly large carp, and the second is trying to steal it. The struggle went on for more than 30 minutes, with the darker snake eventually gaining possession. However, it did not work out well - the carp was too large for the snake to swallow, and as we left the snake was still hopelessly trying to deal with it.

When we were around 300 metres away, the incident was concluded - an Osprey glided in, hovered briefly and swooped down and took the fish!

For more notes on the Viperine Snake, please see my posting here.

boreocypriensis, flashpoint, horias, caspian, maurydv, roges, Argus, nikosrio, horia, Solrac, Miss_Piggy, ramthakur has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To ramthakur: I noticed ;-)Merlin 1 01-05 08:20
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Arjun Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 358 W: 7 N: 1237] (7593)
  • [2009-08-14 10:24]

phew !!!

Superb picture!!! I had never seen such an action before

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2009-08-14 10:55]

Hello Nigel,
Great action photo. The large version makes it even more exciting. It's also exciting to see that the Osprey took the fish, I think. Excellent sharpness and colours. Wonderful POV.

Wowwww...this one is winner of today MF Nigel. Great action capture shawing the feeding biology and also the intraspecific competition of the Colubrid snake Natrix maura. A great scientific and aducative document Nigel!
Well done!
TFS and have a great WE!


hello Nigel!
impressive capture,this second act,where you can see the voracity of the couple Natrix maura.....congratulation for the right time

best regards sERGIO

  • Great 
  • horias Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 837 W: 58 N: 2084] (11033)
  • [2009-08-14 21:42]

Waw...great capture this 2 viperine...Incredible shot, natural colors, good POV!

Congratulations Nigel. Very, but a very special shot. This is an appropriate time with the capture and image quality to be great. TFS

Best Regards.

Hi Nigel

Great large post, a most unusual behaviour for two snakes trying to take teh same prey. Good sharpness and composition.


Hello Nigel,
another fantastic picture of the Viperine snake with the prey, superb sharpness and great timing, splendid colours, excellent POV and composition, wonderful Large Version.
Best regards

  • Great 
  • roges Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 957 W: 0 N: 1329] (6264)
  • [2009-08-28 3:39]

Hi Nigel,
Excellent this macro yours. Very clear and very well made.
I like very much, congratulations.
Have a beautiful day and a nice weekend,

Ciao Nigel. Very interesting dramatic and dynamic shot. Stunning details and particolar good light and what cut!


  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2009-09-08 22:43]

Hello Nigel,
What a find!
An amazing capture at Cuber showing these two Viperine Snakes playing tug-of-war with a carp. The deatils of the heads are well taken with excellent sharpness and lighting.
Thanks and all the best,

Hello Nigel,
amazing capture, great action, very sharp details, natural colors and light,
TFS and regards
PS. I would like to thank you for corecting my pieris post.

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2009-09-21 13:03]

Hi again Nigel

This is something i've never seen before! I mean, i've seen many Natrix snakes (both N. natrix and N. tessellata - the two we have here) eating plenty of fish or frogs, but never two battling for one. This is one excellent find!
In such rare photo cases, i don't really give much attention to the technical quality of the shot, but yours is also very nice and sharp. Thanks to your long telephoto lens, you managed to capture this intimate moment without disturbing them. My compliments.
Funny to hear about the osprey, though :))

Bravo and TFS

Impresionante documento de esta lucha este dos serpientes por la comida
Buen trabajo
un saludo

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2010-02-21 17:30]

Hello Nigel,
Very interesting capture to say the least. The fact that in the end it was stolen from the stealer was justice in a way. Splendid action, great image quality and all around great posting.

PS Thanks again correcting my identification error on the Prairie Merlin.

Hallo Nigel
I accidently stumbled across this image of the two snakes and I must say it is a very impressive shot. If one use your imagination one can make up a few versions of the end result of the story inside the pic which you have captured so well. Great detail captured here, I especially like the sunlight in the image, as well as the shine on the water in the backdrop. Thanks for sharing. Best regards.

First of all, thank you very much for identifying the Blowfly for me, Nigel. I am deeply obliged.
This post of yours is more than two years old; I wonder whether you would notice my reaction to it now.
All the same, it is the kind of picture that deserves a place in publications of the National Geographic class. Though I am scared of snakes and do not enjoy looking at them, this picture compelled me to have a look at its bigger version. Believe me, I did enjoy every bit of this fantastic action image.
Thanks once again and with warm regards,

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