I’ve spent the past four days exploring a number of locations in four counties with Carl Corbidge, mainly looking for reptiles but also some birds. On Saturday, at a familiar location in okay weather, we found a number of male Adders (Vipera berus) and one female. On Sunday we went to a new location and in hot weather (for Yorkshire…) we found three males and a couple of Common lizards (Zootoca vivipara). Driving back from this spot we found a small, skinny Grass snake (Natrix natrix). After dark we decided to visit a location for Great crested newt (Triturus cristatus) and we found close to 30 specimens. In one pond with a clay substrate all observed animals were a much lighter colour.
On Monday, we drove further north to a more remote location hoping to see good numbers of raptors but before that stopped at another adder spot and saw four, pre-shed males out basking. The birds of prey didn’t show too well at our next location and aside from an occasional Buzzard (Buteo buteo) and Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) we didn’t see much bird life. However, with a nice sunny morning we explored a beautiful, remote location and found five female and two male adders some of which were showing some mating interaction. A few common lizards were also seen, including one that crossed the road in front of our car. A smashing extended weekend away from doing work!
On a more serious note I apologise that I’m unable to share any photographs of some of the amazing scenery we explored this weekend but I try my best to keep locations with reptiles as vague as possible. There is now a growing trend of people having “adder photography workshops”, “adder training days” and other bullshit which usually leads to hibernation sites being trampled, adders being moved, adders being caught with snake tongs (we’re not in South Africa…) or even worse, adders ending up in a vivarium!