And it was a snake that I had previously not seen, making the observation even more exciting. The Swamp Snake (or Marsh Snake, or Black-bellied Swamp Snake), Hemiaspis signata, is apparently relatively common in the Hunter region.
My Swamp Snake sighting was at Hunter Wetlands Centre, formerly known as Shortland Wetlands Centre. 45 hectares have been preserved as a wildlife refuge with approximately 250 species of native birds and animals having been recorded.
The project of rehabilitating a degraded wetland was undertaken in 1986 and has progressed into a valuable conservation area with the added aim of increasing understanding of and appreciation for wetlands through communication, education and public awareness.
It really is a fabulous place to take the whole family to enjoy nature up close, and my husband and I have purchased an annual family pass and are making good use of unlimited visitation.
The Swamp Snake disappears into the grass
An unexpected encounter with a snake can be a frightening experience, but if you stand still at a safe distance, you might be rewarded by the chance to observe these beautiful and sleek, but misunderstood, creatures.