Late summer adders

Today for the first time in a while I ventured out onto the moors looking for Adders (Vipera berus). Since not all females reproduce every year, only a few individuals have been seen so far this summer, some of them different females to those found at the same exact spots in summer 2011. In cloudy weather with some occasional breaks of sunshine I saw three females, two well known to me and a third which was a new specimen, the smallest female adder I’ve seen at this site. Great! I made sure I got some close up photos of her head so I can identify her in the future, although it should be quite easy as she is considerably smaller than most females at this location. Only one of these females looked heavy with offspring so I decided to not disturb her for photos and leave her basking. In addition I came across a group of Roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), but as always I didn’t have my camera out and they quickly fled into the dense woodland. Flipping some stones I came across lots of Common toads (Bufo bufo), some small Common frogs (Rana temporaria) and Palmate newts (Lissotriton helveticus). An acidic pond contained hundreds of newt larvae of various sizes.

Female adder (Vipera berus)

Female adder (Vipera berus) (C) Matt Wilson

Female adder (Vipera berus) (C) Matt Wilson

The new specimen for me at this site (C) Matt Wilson

And again..(C) Matt Wilson

Juvenile Common frog (Rana temporaria) looking rather like an Agile frog (C) Matt Wilson

Common toads (Bufo bufo) uncovered during the daytime always appear dark like this one (C) Matt Wilson

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