Saturday, 2 July 2011

July Already

Well it's July, the weather is warming up and herping wise things tend to slow down. Animals warm up quickly, the vegetation gets quite dense and normally it's a time to ease off until late summer. However today I thought I would try and find a female Adder (Vipera berus) or 2 having only seen 1 in my local area this year (but 5 over the other side of the Pennines). I had an early start and went to an area where I've had the most success with adders in summer and soon found a female. She didn't move off when she saw me, so I took some in situ photos and left her in peace. There were a number of newly emerged Common Frogs (Rana temporaria) an important prey species for newborn adders. There also seemed to be a lot of small birds around today mainly warblers but quite a few Stonechats (Saxicola torquata). At my second best spot, no adders, but I caught a small Viviparous Lizard (Zootoca vivipara) which was probably a second year.
Above and Below Female Adder Vipera berus © Carl Corbidge

Froglet Rana temporaria © Carl Corbidge
Viviparous Lizard Zootoca vivipara © Carl Corbidge
Male Stonechat Saxicola torquata © Carl Corbidge
I had a little bit of time left so a quick drive to a Slow Worm (Anguis fragilis) spot and I found a male and a gravid female, which was very dark indeed. A couple of tins that they use had been flipped and not put back in place, which was a little irritating.
Above Male Slow Worm and Below Female Slow Worm © Carl Corbidge

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