Local wildlife photographer Tim Bergen has called for the Bathurst community to take extra care during the warmer months as snakes come out to explore.
Last Monday, October 22, while Mr Bergen was at his usual photography spot at the Boundary Road Reserve, he was greeted by a pair of eastern brown snakes, one of which he was lucky enough to photograph.
“As soon as it was coming towards me I instinctively took a few steps backwards, and as it looked ready to strike, I was lucky enough to be at a safe distance away, allowing me to take a couple of shots with my camera,” he said.
“I had mixed feelings of fear and awe, and while I was careful not to do anything stupid, my love of wildlife photography ensured it was a photo opportunity I couldn’t pass up.”
Mr Bergen’s wildlife photography specialises in taking photos of the many picturesque bird breeds throughout the Bathurst region, and his work has a keen following online.
He was searching for sacred kingfishers at a spot in the reserve he hadn’t visited for a couple of years when he encountered the snakes.
“My work has been driven by wanting to learn all about the different bird species and get as good a shot as I can of them," he said.
“I often go to the Boundary Road Reserve for photographs as you get the sort of wildlife you’d ordinarily have to venture 15 to 20 kilometres out of town for, which makes it a handy spot.”
Although Bathurst is home to some of Australia’s deadliest snake breeds, Mr Bergen says that its much safer carefully back away and leave snakes alone rather than intervene.
“Too many people think that if you see a snake, you should kill it, and I think most people get bitten trying to catch or kill one,” he said.
“When I encountered this snake, I could tell it was warning me to watch out and hoping that I would go away.”
“They’re part of our ecosystem, and if you back off and leave them alone, they will normally get out of your way and go and hide.”