I saw something today I had never experienced in the wild: watching a snake catch, strangle, and eat it's prey from start to finish. I have pet snakes, so I get to see this in captivity every week - but in the wild, I've only ever seen a snake eating once before (I got a glimpse of of a water snake finishing up a goldfish).
The neighbor boys were over, and my dad was walking with us around the pond, watching the northern water snake. She at first was basking on shore, but then she slipped into the water. The snake stayed near the edge, moving rather quickly. She was poking her nose around the leaves, and striking at frogs as they jumped into the water.
Finally she paused, with her nose out of the water. We approached slowly, and just as one of the boys commented "I wish we could see the snake eat a frog", we stepped forward, spooking a rather large green frog. The frog jumped right in front of the snake, which struck out and grabbed it by the head!
There was a great deal of thrashing around and muddying of the water as the snake tried to subdue her prey. Once I saw she had a good grip on the frog, I ran back to the house to get my camera. When I came back, this is what I saw:
Bad day for the frog, good day for the snake and a bunch of excited onlookers.