Sunday, 26 February 2012

An Exciting Day

We’ll I have adders 3 miles from my front door, for some people that would be horrific for me that is very exciting. A visit to the site and I find 2 male adders basking in the glorious sunshine today.
Tricky, how much do I give away as most people, and I don’t understand why, don’t like snakes. Okay maybe I do understand why but fear of snakes is a bit like fear of sharks, you have more chance of being hit on the head by a coconut than being bitten by a shark….I think it’s the press that have a fear of snakes and sharks and people that read newspapers get drawn into the unnecessary and overblown hype.
Anyway the site is a tangle of bramble, dogwood, hawthorn and silver birch.
This lovely brown and black male was coiled up taking in a few rays near to some refugia.
I was concentrating on this male so much that I nearly missed another male doing the same i.e. basking, not concentrating on the other male, in the dead grass about 5 feet from me.
After increasing their body temperatures, both snakes moved off and i managed to get a back of the head shot of the first male, useful for future id’s of individuals.
Thanks must go to Greenie for pointing out my id error with regard to the first adder which I thought was a female but is in fact a male. A rule of thumb which is generally about 90% true is that the zigzag pattern in a male is black and in a female is brown.
Don’t be afraid of snakes, certainly in the UK. Adders just want to get on with their lives, just like you and me. They will not hurt you as long as you respect them and don’t go doing something silly like trying to get too close or attempting to pick them up. I’m hoping that having adders in the area also means a healthy population of small mammals which are a preferred prey item.


Marianne said...

Nice pics. Adders are great :)

Greenie said...

John ,
Great shots of the Adders , but would respectfully suggest both animals are males .
Do you pass on your sightings to Kent Reptile and Amphibian Group ?