Herping with the father!

On Sunday, I went out searching for Adders with my Dad, who has in the past seen many of Britain’s native reptile species in Dorset, when each spring we would travel down to the south coast and spend countless hours lifting tins looking for Smooth snakes and all the other species present there. Today, we visited a more local spot for Adders, the same spot  as I visited on Friday (see previous post). Again, it was very hot indeed for April (19C!), so on arriving at the spot all the adders had already reached optimum temperature and dispersed. When the weather is hot, snakes are hard to find in the UK as they only need to spend a short amount of time basking and then move off, usually undercover of bracken and in many cases in places not visible to the human eye. However, we searched the old stone wall where I had seen a large male on the previous day, my Dad soon shouted from the other side of the wall that there was a large adder, and by the time I clambered to the other side the snake had vanished down a hole. Too bad… After enjoying a short hike I decided to check back at the wall, as on the previous day I had seen the same adder three times out searching for prey or a mate. Much to my delight I saw a very large female Adder basking at the side of the stone wall. This was one of the largest adders I have ever seen, and the first female I have found at this location, generally speaking females are far less frequently seen than the males. Pleased with this find, we called it a day in the early afternoon, and hopefully the next time I go out looking for herps, the weather will be a bit cooler!

Large female Adder (Vipera berus) (C) Matt Wilson

Large female Adder (Vipera berus) (C) Matt Wilson

Large female Adder (Vipera berus) (C) Matt Wilson

Large female Adder (Vipera berus) (C) Matt Wilson

Large female Adder (Vipera berus) (C) Matt Wilson

Tadpoles of common frog (Rana temporaria)

By Matt Wilson

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