Two firsts for 2013

On Saturday I met up with David Nixon to do a survey for Adders (Vipera berus) not too far away from our regular sites. A sunny start allowed us to see a large male, but it was very much warmed up and slithered away before we could take any photographs. Too bad. At the time I was quite sure it would be the first of many adders we would see, but the strength of the wind increased and gradually the clouds came in. By the early afternoon it was quite cold and we couldn’t find any more snakes. Perhaps the highlight of the day was watching a Short-eared owl (Asio flammeus) on the hunt, even hovering at one point. Unfortunately, I only had a macro lens with me so I was unable to take any photographs of this impressive species. Walking along the edge of one of the water channels, Dave spotted a basking male Slow-worm (Anguis fragilis), the first both of us have seen this year. A short while later Dave also stumbled across a lone male Smooth newt (Lissotriton vulgaris) making its way across land to his breeding pond. Despite the dramatic change in weather we still had a nice day out, and hopefully some consistent, nice weather can’t be too far away now. No doubt the British weather will prove me wrong yet again…

Male Slow-worm (Anguis fragilis) (C) Matt Wilson

Male Slow-worm (Anguis fragilis) (C) Matt Wilson

Male Slow-worm (Anguis fragilis) (C) Matt Wilson

Male Slow-worm (Anguis fragilis) (C) Matt Wilson

Male Smooth newt (Lissotriton vulgaris) (C) Matt Wilson

Male Smooth newt (Lissotriton vulgaris) (C) Matt Wilson

By Matt Wilson

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