Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Adding Up and Keeping Count!

Recently I’ve been reading a book by Rodger McPhail called ‘The Private Life Of Adders’. To be honest it doesn’t take long to read but for someone like me that doesn’t know a lot about the life history of adders it is full of very useful information and a good introduction and I would recommend it as it is also full of great and surprising photos. One aspect of adder watching is trying to work out just how many individual adders you might be looking at and a study in the Wyre Forest in Worcestershire showed that adders posses unique head-patterns that can be broken down into 3 components. Eye lines, inverted V and the apex of the zig-zag.
So far I have made 3 trips to the adder site and I think I’ve seen 7 different male adders, which if true is the most I’ve ever seen in one area and quite exciting and the females aren’t even out yet!
The challenge is to try and get a photo of the back of the head which is easier said than done given that your average adder doesn’t want to be noticed let alone photographed and bits of grass and bees get in the way but that is all part of the challenge.
What do you think, there are certainly 4 different males below but do you reckon there are 7 different males here? Answers on a postcard.
March 18th.
Male 1 
Male 2 
This one will be easy to identify as long as the spring flower bee stays put!
Male 3 
Male 412_03_18_mh_016_male_1
March 8th
Male 5
26th February
Male 612_02_26_mh_056_male_5
Male 7


Stewart said...

Hi John, forgive me, but your Blossom Underwing looks like a worn Chestnut...

Cheers Stewart.

John Young said...

Hi Stewart, no problem and it does look like a worn chestnut and this would make more sense. Oddly it did have pale underwings but chestnuts are variable, I guess. Many thanks for looking and the post. John