Adders and Otters
The last few weeks have been hectic at work so despite some people thinking i only work part-time I have rarely been able to get out recently.
I have managed a few trip down at the river and it seems as though the Kingfishers are now well and truly ready to rear a family and have been in and out of a hole in the bank where they have been known to have successfully bred before. The Otters have been showing on occasions although still very elusive and on one occasion as I was hidden behind a tree it passed in front of me no more the a cars length away as it searched along the river bank, unfortunately this was just a watching session and I had no camera. I have managed a few photos and they are getting gradually better and better but still a long way from what I'm really after…..still I never expected too much in the first year anyway.
The local commons have always been a hotspot for adders but I have never really put any time into looking for them as there always seems to be something else to do. I managed to go last weekend which was going to be for a couple of hours but ended up spending all day. The first adder was spotted at about 9.00am which was quickly followed by a few more of both males and females, plenty of shed skins were also found so the timing was right for mating. After about an hour or so my attention was drawn to an Oil beetle which is not a common sight anymore and I spent a while watching and photographing it. By now my couple of hours were up but and as all the Adders were so well hidden by all the bracken photos were really not going to happen, anyway I took one more quick look and spotted a male straight away so sat quietly watching it when another larger male came past my legs within a few feet, totally oblivious to the fact I was sat there it seemed to be on a mission and a few secs later another one appeared even closer to me. As I watched them move in front of me they suddenly rose out of the bracken and started their "adder dance" bodies entwined they seemed to be trying to get higher than each other and would try and push each other to the ground. This was fascinating to watch and lasted for about 15 minutes when suddenly they parted and coiled up about four feet apart. Shortly after one of the males made a quick getaway, obviously defeated in this battle for the right to mate and a female appeared right in front of me. Within a few sends they were entwined and mating. This was the first time I had ever witnessed this and another wildlife moment I won't forget in a hurry.
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