24 hours makes all the difference!

With nice conditions this morning I thought that I would have a quick check on the adders again since next weekend I am away on a course. I wasn’t expecting anything different from yesterday with the same three males being present but not having shed their skins. Upon arrival not only had all three males just sloughed their skins but a further three smaller males who had also sloughed their skins had joined them! Despite a number of visits this spring I had not seen any of these three “new” smaller males. I wonder where they came from all of a sudden? Perhaps being smaller snakes they did not spend any where near the amount of time basking as the larger males. Not that I was complaining and soon two of the males were courting and guarding a large orange female. Whereas another smaller female was basking all by herself far away from where the males had congregated.

Now the adders will be beginning their mating I cut down my visits considerably, not that any of the adders I saw today had any idea I was there in any case.

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By Matt Wilson

Sunny spring…in most places!

This morning I visited my local adders again and I was amazed that the males had still not sloughed their skins! Most people I know who visit different areas, have seen freshly sloughed male adders for weeks now, even at places much further north than where these adders live. All I can put it down to is the local climate here and the fact that there is cloud cover for the majority of the time these snakes are active. Two females were basking late on in the sunshine when the males had retreated.

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By Matt Wilson

Spring time adders and adder page!

UPDATED: After visits on the 8th and 11th April, two females have also joined the group of three males at one site. Although none of the males have sloughed their skin yet which means there won’t be any courtship behaviour for now. I have also created a “UK Adder diaries” page onto the blog.

ORIGINAL POST: Recently I visited two adders site, one which I mentioned previously which is suffering from high amounts of disturbance and another which is less well known fortunately. I have even received word recently from a colleague who says that a man offering an “adder photography workshop” was seen at the site with a cooler box. The idea being that adders are placed into the cooler box so that his participants can pose the snakes (once they are too cold to move properly) into any position they want. I am beginning to loathe certain sections of the wildlife photography circle due to this cruel and damaging way of conducting their business.

Despite this, six male adders were enjoying the sunshine and at the second location three regular males were doing the same.

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By Matt Wilson