Saturday, 24 September 2011

The Last few Herps of the Season

With a little bit of Autumn sun forecast I went out to check for more newborn Adders Vipera berus. It won't be long before they start heading down into their winter hibernicula. Autumn is well and truly here with Red Deer Cervus elaphus stags bellowing today on the moor tops. Typically it was nice and sunny when I set off, but on arrival a blanket of cloud had appeared. Not to be defeated I found 3 Common Toads Bufo bufo and contented myself with photographing some Long Tailed Tits Aegithalos caudatus. A 20 minute blast of sun and I found my first adder, a very small male, probably born last year. I've moved on to another site and spotted another newborn adder, it slinked away whilst I was swapping lenses, but I was pleased with this observation as it was the first time I had seen a newborn at this site. Also here was a very accomadating Viviparous Lizard Zootoca viviparia which apparently wasn't interested in the beetle at the end of it's nose. Finally a male adder was in his favourite spot.

 Above and Below Common Toad © Carl Corbidge

 Juvenile Male Adder © Carl Corbidge
 Above and Below Long Tailed Tit © Carl Corbidge

 Male Adder © Carl Corbidge

 Viviparous Lizard  © Carl Corbidge

Sunday, 11 September 2011

The first neonate Adder of the Autumn.

I was really chuffed today as I found a neonate Adder Vipera berus. Even though I regularly see gravid females, once they give birth the newborns seem to vanish. Also in Autumn male adders become more obvious again and today I found once out basking which I think might be an old friend from spring. In additon I saw 2 Viviaparous Lizards Zootoca vivipara, and as always at this time of the year Dragonflies were in evidence mainly Black Darters Sympetrum danae.
The latest date I have seen adders in the UK is October 13th 2009 so if the weather stays warm,  there's about another 4 weeks before season comes to an end.

Newborn Adder (the Green Bottle gives a good size comparison) © Carl Corbidge
Above and below Male Adder © Carl Corbidge

Above and Below Black Darter © Carl Corbidge