Friday, 29 June 2012

Adder Macro!


Another very special encounter with a female adder recently. I took quite a few images, but here is just one as a teaser!

Female Adder (Vipera berus)


"New" ARG Gloucestershire

With a friend I have started a new amphibian and reptile conservation group in the Forest of dean, Gloucestershire.
This group is called GlosARG and we are an affiliated group of ARG UK.

Our aim is to.....

Raise awareness
Recruit volunteers
Survey Gloucestershire
Manage existing habitats
Create new habitats
Achieve protection status on existing and new habitats
See Gloucestershire recognised as a special place for Herptile Conservation

This isn't going to happen overnight and it isn't going to be easy, but with our passion, focus and some much needed help, I am sure we can achieve our goals.
Until now Gloucestershire did not have a ARG group, so Scott and I decided to change this and show the world the wonders of this special place.
Please contact me if you would like to help. We will be organising walks, talks as well as teaching volunteers how to survey all the magnificent amphibians and reptiles we have in Gloucestershire.

ARG Website

Follow us on...

As well as many other species, these are just some of the amphibians and reptiles we will be surveying and looking after throughout Gloucestershire.

Great Crested Newt


Grass Snake

Common Lizard




Monday, 18 June 2012

Adder Kiss!

In this short adder film you will see a male adder that is preparing to slough, or shed his skin. When this happens the snake's eye scale turns blue as fluid builds up between the new inner and old outer skin. The fluid helps the snake discard the old skin.
When this happens the snake's vision is severely impaired and it can cause irregular behaviour, like you will see in this clip. 
Adders do not generally approach large mammals as they have identified them as a possible threat, not a food source, but when their vision is impaired they are attracted to the heat source as they can not identify what it is, or how big it is. All they see is a heat signature and a possible meal. In this case he was focusing on my camera and my hands.

I was lying on my belly using my elbows as support when he started to approach me and this is when I had to quickly shuffle backwards. At one point he actually licked the front of my camera!

I hope you enjoy my video.


Friday, 15 June 2012

Adder Behaviour Video

Here we have some video footage of adders in their natural environment, with no disturbance. I like filming the snakes in this way as it shows their true natural behaviour, however, it does mean setting up the camera and sitting back to wait for them to actually move and this can take some time!
I have increased the playback speed on some of the snakes featured as they are quite slow movers and this gives the film an extra special look.

PS: The black one is the only recorded melanistic adder found in the Forest of Dean and I was over the moon when I found it. Might never see one again in this area and as I haven't seen him for a while this snake ranks right up there as one of my best ever adder encounters.