Sunday, 5 April 2009

Snakes Alive!

Adder (male)
You can just make the tongue out in this one
Grass Snake - hidden in a crevice
Record shot of Lulu
Believe it or not, there is an as yet unidentified bug in the centre of this pic!

The reason I've chosen the above title, is that our first Adder of the day, was a dead one! We had a mini Yorkshire Bird Forum meeting (John Sadler, Mike Richardson, Marcus Conway and myself) to a site somewhere in Yorkshire to look for snakes. This is an area I've taken birdwatching classes to many times, but at which I've never previously seen a reptile. Acting on a tip off from a new Bird Forum member we had a look at sites I've walked past countless times. We were serenaded by a pair of Lulu almost as soon as we arrived at the heath site, but we were unable to find any Adders despite an exhaustive search - although Marcus found 3 Common Lizards. It may not have been quite warm enough for the snakes, as it was still fairly early in the morning and there was plenty of thin high cloud. We then had a look at what I suppose would today be defined as a brownfield area where Grass Snakes had been reported, and almost straight away were rewarded with one slithering away to escape our gaze. We had a circular walk where we encountered another Lulu, and A Greylag Goose, but little else & then we had another look for the Grass Snake - again it was glimpsed briefly. We went back to the heath, but Mike only managed to find a recently deceased female Adder, which may have been either mauled by a dog or dropped from the talons of a raptor. Finally, Marcus discovered a coiled male Adder basking on a slightly raised bank, which allowed us all to approach and take photographs. We decided to have one last try for the Grass Snake, which again evaded our view as it disappeared down a different tumble of rocks. Overall a successful morning visit, to a site I intend to return to later on this summer.


Ben said...

did you get bit by the adder lol!!!!!!!

Michael Flowers said...

No, but I can take you to get bitten during your school hols, if you like!