Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Add an Adder

First, let me apologise for my absence. This was due to an under the influence cable engineer disconnecting my internet connection for no apparent reason (other than being stoned). 
Anyhoo, I'm back, yay and as you may guess from the title, snakes (well, more like snake) are the topic. Sunday saw me in the depths of Rendlesham Forest (Suffolk's Roswell) on Adder training organised by the wonderful people at Suffolk Amphibian and Reptile Group (SARG). This project is aimed at mapping the whereabouts of Adders across the UK through citizen science. We were given a talk by Duncan Sweeting and Trudy Seagon who explained how the project works, how to identify Adders from Grass snakes and most importantly of all, where and when to find them. We were then taken into the woods to sites where Adders had been recorded before and it wasn't too long before one was found basking in the sun. However, there were many there who hadn't seen an Adder before and they all went tramping through the undergrowth to see this one Adder. He didn't sit around for long before making a slow retreat, but before it slunk off, I did manage to get a glimpse, so number 87 is our first reptile on the list. You might notice that I've left the grid reference as undisclosed in the list below. There's a good reason for that, Adders are having a hard time of it of late and me openly publishing their exact location won't help. So for the purposes of their conservation their exact location will remain a secret.
It was a nice day Sunday and whilst wandering through the forest we had a close encounter with 4 Fallow deer (3 female, 1 male) who popped up out of nowhere and then quickly disappeared again. My friend and fellow bat enthusiast Trudy then pointed out to me a Woodlark. This is a bird that I've never heard of before and she told me that you can tell a Woodlark by its song, apparently it descends down the scale. I say apparently, because I am totally tone deaf and bird song is definitely not my strong point. 

86 Woodlark Lullula arborea TM361476 26/02/2012
87 Adder Vipera berus Undisclosed 26/02/2012

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