Warmer…

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).

Male Adder (Vipera berus) ready to slough his skin (C) Matt Wilson

Male Adder (Vipera berus) ready to slough his skin (C) Matt Wilson

Small male Adder (Vipera berus) (C) Matt Wilson

Small male Adder (Vipera berus) actually photographed sitting out during a rain shower (C) Matt Wilson

Big female in very good condition after her Winter hibernation (C) Matt Wilson

Big female in very good condition after her Winter hibernation (C) Matt Wilson

Male adder (Vipera berus) (C) Matt Wilson

Male adder (Vipera berus) (C) Matt Wilson

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.

Male adder (Vipera berus) (C) Matt Wilson

Male adder (Vipera berus) (C) Matt Wilson

Two male adder (Vipera berus) (C) Matt Wilson

Two male adder (Vipera berus) (C) Matt Wilson

Male adders (Vipera berus) (C) Matt Wilson

Male adders (Vipera berus) (C) Matt Wilson

Spanish-wannabe adder (C) Matt Wilson

Spanish-wannabe adder (C) Matt Wilson

La vibora de Seoane o cantabrica (C) Matt Wilson

La vibora de Seoane o cantabrica (C) Matt Wilson

Easy mistake to make (C) Matt Wilson

Easy mistake to make (C) Matt Wilson

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

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

Grass snake (Natrix natrix) (C) Matt Wilson

Grass snake (Natrix natrix) (C) Matt Wilson

Grass snake (Natrix natrix) (C) Matt Wilson

Grass snake (Natrix natrix) (C) Matt Wilson

By Matt Wilson

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