Sunday, 2 March 2014
Adders survive for now
I plucked up the courage to walk down and see for myself today, Sunday 2nd March, the devastation needlessly inflicted on one of the tracks down at a local wooded area, why prime habitat such as the glorious heather areas was trampled under the digger wheels I will never know? I guess its just ignorance. It highlights the importance of these areas being managed by wildlife organisations who know what they are doing. On the way in, no Crossbills of any description were seen either by the log piles or elsewhere in the Forest I was delighted to see a group of 5 early Adders, all males, (with thick black wavy band down the back and not brown) just out of their hibernation basking in the early March sun. They had miraculously escaped being squashed by the heavy machinery employed so recklessly in this area. They characteristically flattened their bodies on the ground therefore increasing the surface area to make the most of the warming sun's rays. It was a real joy to see them, but I fear for them over the coming few months. Where is the habitat (i.e. the thick swathes of heather and cover to hide in) where they can hunt, hide and thrive in? Only small swathes of heather survive from the brutal onslaught. The area is so much more open and they will be more prone to disturbance from walkers and especially their dogs, which should really be kept on a lead (for their own safety) in this area. For now, the Adders were lying together, blissfully unaware of the hardships they face during this coming season, 3 Adders were all coiled up together, their heads poking out in different directions and 2 others nearby. Looking back, I was surprised to see a Roe Deer run and hop across the wide area and it some woodland. Back at the car park, I noted 3 Coal Tits and a Blue Tit. Driving back to Ashby Dell, a fine male Bullfinch flew across the road from right to left.