Gravid female adders!
Well, it’s been a while since I did some local herping for a couple of reasons, firstly I’ve had my trips abroad over the last two months and secondly that is never seems to stop raining! At least where I live. Today it looked like it might not actually rain or be very cold (for early summer) so I ventured out, and upon arrival was surprised/amazed/mystified that the sun was actually out, and only disappeared behind the clouds for a couple of minutes at a time. These conditions seemed to be perfect for gravid female Adders (Vipera berus) and I almost immediately spotted a basking female next to a clump of heather. Minutes later a smaller female was seen basking next to a pile of stones but vanished before I could identify her. Minutes later she was back and I noted she was a female I know from last year. Venturing quite far from this site I explored an area where I always hoped there would be adders, and I was very pleased to find two freshly cast skins. With a little dedication I was able to find a very large basking female in this area, finally a specimen which is completely new to me, and easy to identify in the future owing to a small scar above her upper lip. After this I saw the first female out basking once again, followed by another small female climbing an embankment. In addition I flipped over a dozen Common toads (Bufo bufo). With the rain set to return this week I consider myself fortunate to have one half decent day out in the field, needless to say the weather this year has been completely rubbish!