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Adders Add up!

adder-headI have to tell you about yesterday when I went to Derbyshire especially to look for Adders – it was such a brilliant day. I just love this time of year, when everything is starting to come alive and all our native herps come out of hibernation. Well, yesterday I went with herpetologist Matt Wilson, Lorna Bousfield of the Lancashire  ARG (Amphibian  Reptile Group), and my friend Peter Taylor to join Chris Monk, a super guy who has been surveying the Adders in this area for the past 5 years. Chris is really dedicated to the Adders and what he doesn’t know about these wonderful snakes simply isn’t worth knowing!  Throughout the afternoon we searched, and with Chris’s help discovered a total of 29 beautiful snakes. Most were males but we were also lucky enough to find one light-coloured female – a first for Chris this year and at a new location too, so hope fully we at least brought him some luck!  It was superb to share the day with like-minded people, and I managed to get some nice photos of the snakes too (see above & below).  I have to say that Matt Wilson is also one of the most knowledgeable young herpetologists I have ever met. His knowledge and experience, particularly with European Herps is phenomenal.  Knowing Matt for years, I would guarantee that anyone interested in employing a good herp worker couldn’t go at all wrong with Matt.



2 Responses

  1. I had a similiar experience strolling through the sand dunes at Ainsdale Nature Reserve…my guide was a ranger who has worked with the Natterjack Toads there for the past 20 years and knows everything about the population.
    It too was a joy to see the first signs of activity there…we didn’t see any Natterjacks (which of course was not likely of a day) but we did see a number of their tracks heading towards the direction of various known breeding pools…early signs of them getting ready to start their nightly breeding calls to the females.
    I am much looking forward to returning over the coming weeks to help monitor the breeding pools and watching the spawn develop into young toadlets.
    For anyone who loves amphibians I strongly recommend visiting this site….I am still smiling now after spending a delightful spring morning there.

  2. I was talking a liitle about this day out with Lorna today. I took part in the ARGSL Amphibian training day for the NARRS survey. I learnt the most incredible amount from her and David Orchard and a fantastic day was had by all. The highlight had to be the after dark search of the pools at Rixton by torchlight. Having never done anything like that before it was wonderful to see all the amphibians coming to life at night.
    I hope lots of people do get involved with the survey-not only is it an ingenious way of monitoring the UK’s amphibians populations but a great way to get people directly involved with amphibian conservation. And provided peole with an opportunity to appreciate that for all the amazing amphibians across the world, we have some truly splendid ones of our own. Seeing the flashes of silvers dart across the ponds as the Male Great Crested Newts began flicking the tails into action when the torches illuminated them is one memory I will take away from it

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