I’ve been busy out in the field the past two days and I was finally able to enjoy some nicer weather. On Friday, I spent some time searching for Adders (Vipera berus), and although the clouds wouldn’t move it was still quite warm. I managed to find three male adders, all ready to slough, and a large female all of which are well known specimens to me. Another nice observation was watching a Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) land metres away from me and then fly off with a rodent of some kind in its talons. Under a stone I also found a baby Common toad (Bufo bufo).
On Saturday I ventured over” tut tuther side of th’hill” to do some herping with Carl around his more local areas. It was a hot, sunny day so we started early, anticipating that by dinner time it would be too hot for our cooler acclimatised populations. We had a nice total of around 15 adders early on, including a striped or “bilineata” specimen which are very rare in the UK populations. A big thank you to Chris who showed us this beautiful specimen. We also saw a couple of very warmed up Common lizards (Zootoca vivipara) and we found a juvenile adder that appeared to have been killed by a pheasant. Common toads (Bufo bufo) were breeding in large numbers in the reservoirs around the site. After this we visited a site for Grass snakes (Natrix natrix) where in September we found a huge female. None were around, perhaps already too warm. Moving on, we stopped at a small graveyard that has a small population of Slow-worms (Anguis fragilis) and we could find one sub-adult specimen. Just before I headed home we searched one last location where Carl sees the occasional grass snake. Straight away I spotted a smaller specimen basking but it vanished into the vegetation. A short while later he appeared again and I was able to catch him for a quick photo or two.