Wednesday, 1 May 2013
Adders by the dozen
Again not feeling well on Saturday, (otherwise I would have been at Landguard)I kept a low profile at home and ventured out on Sunday 28th April at 11am to the local woods in the search for Adders, which I always enjoy looking for. In the car park, a singing male Blackcap eventually gave itself up as Jenny spotted it near the very top of a tree on the northern edge of the car park. I will not state exactly where as there was evidence of several new paths undoubtedly causing disturbance in prime habitat, also damaged by the hard winter we have just experienced. We didn't have long to wait as we had a male Adder right at the top of the path near the car park, it quickly slithered under neath a log. Another male was seen in the tall heather in the usual spot and 3 females and 2 males seen close by. It was noticable that sadly much of the heather had suffered with the winter we have just had, providing less suitable habitable areas for Vipera berus. We then came across a family having a picnic sat in prime Adder habitat! Totally oblivious of what were probably just around a few feet away! Naturally none were seen here, but 30 yards further down we came across a further 5 Adders including a shy dull mature female that slithered off very quickly, once coiling up round and briefly up the the base of a tree and 1 male Adder who was very territorial, which Jenny saw coiling up and dancing with another male briefly before it vhased it off. This male was very curious and came to investigate me getting within a foot of me before I backed off. Jen also saw a Roe Deer in the woods, and I saw it running through the trees to the north. So 12 Adders seen in total (7 males and 5 females). This male was within 8 inches of a very lucky Common Lizard that survived to tell the tale as the Adder just ignored it! Another Common Lizard seen earlier, so 2 Common Lizards seen. Finally, a tiny hatchling greeny- brown Grass Snake wriggled across the path just in front of me travelling from right to left.