Rattlesnakes prefer warm climes than the Mendonoma Coast. There are legends of a rattlesnake hitching a ride on a logging truck and falling off near the ocean. Perhaps that is what happened here. But there were two of them spotted within a week.
The first one was seen near a road at Gualala Point Regional Park by Kathy Bishop.
It was identified by Gary Nafis as an adult Northern Pacific Rattlesnake. It appeared to have been run over by a vehicle and it soon died.
However another adult was seen several days later at the south end of The Sea Ranch. Jim Merryman photographed the head and the tail.
I wondered if these extremely unusual sightings of rattlesnakes could be because they are searching for water. Gary Nafis told me they don't drink water. He said, “Rattlesnakes get most of their water from food, which they’re always looking for until they find it and go underground to digest. They often need to travel out of their usual home territories in their search, which could be happening here. Both snakes are adults, so it’s not a case of juveniles looking for a place to settle.”
Jim said about an hour after his sighting he saw a White-tailed Kite with a snake the same size as the rattlesnake so perhaps the Mendonoma Coast is once again free of rattlesnakes.
To see Gary Nafis' fascinating website about amphibians and reptiles, here is the link: californiaherps.com
Thanks to Kathy and Jim for allowing me to share their photos with you here.