Adders brings sunshine on a very wet weekend

Female Adder (Vipera berus) (C) Matt Wilson

Since I returned to the north of England from Greece the weather has been truly dire, strong winds together with heavy rain have kept me indoors 😦 However, on Sunday I went for a walk around a local site which holds a very small population of Vipera berus, despite the previously mentioned wind, and even a few light drops of rain I stumbled across a large female. Usually from June onward male adders seem to just vanish until the Autumn, but the females with young developing inside them show far more willing to venture out. The habitat already looked very different than a month ago, with bracken half way grown and covering the male’s basking spots from March, as well as much longer grass and vegetation around the dry stone walls. Therefore I was very pleased to find this nice female out and about and I will keep an eye out for more of them over the summer. Thanks to some photos I have taken of the heads of each snake at this location I can establish that this is a ‘new’ female to me in this very small population. Because such snakes are usually active at this time to aid their developing offspring, I did not bother the snake for too many photos, but did do a short video. Furthermore, with some limited stone turning in the wet, I found only Common toads (Bufo bufo).

In addition I was pleased about the recent release of a very nice book, ‘‘The private life of adders” by Rodger Mcphail. Like myself, Rodger has spent years observing northern reptiles and is a highly recommended read of a personal account of adders for anyone interested in native species.

Female Adder (Vipera berus) (C) Matt Wilson

By Matt Wilson

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