I was asked recently to unearth my photos of male Adders fighting or dancing, which were taken 8 years ago. I have no idea why I only put a handful on the blog at the time, and the others were forgotten. Having revisited them I thought it may be quite interesting to present them in the order that they were taken. These are all full frame images with no editing or even basic photoshopping. It's a shame that I'd never be able to include any on my wildlife calendars, as they would definitely depress sales! In spring male Adders fight each other to determine which individual will mate with females. Although they are fighting, it has often been described as a dance as they entwine around each other attempting to gain supremacy over the other. These photos were taken on 25 April 2010 at Hatfield Moor with an audience of around 6 Yorkshire birders, nearly all of whom were attempting to take pictures or film of them fighting. Our attention was drawn originally, as far as I remember, by the rustling in the dead bracken. These snakes were continually moving, so it was difficult to ensure the 2 creatures both remained in focus, and even in the frame, at the same time! As far as I remember the fight lasted around 10 minutes, but in reality it probably wasn't as long as that!
2 male Adders
The Possible Reason for the Fight