Woke up in the morning, switched my phone on and got a message from James: 'Wonna join me for some Adder action?'. Of course I couldn't resist, and after schoolrun I quickly headed out for a couple of hours. It was a beautiful day, sunny and warm. Perfect for some Short-toed Eagle food action. There were no Short-toed Eagles around, but as soon as I arrived on site we immediately had Adder action. Before I had arrived, James and Will had a bunch of five males but they quickly disappeared. And soon after I joined them Will spotted this pair mating - incredible! The female was so much larger than the male. The male has recently sloughed and had this lovely pale greenish skin colour. We watched them from a distance for about ten minutes until they had enough and disappeared into the gorse bush.
European Adders (Vipera berus)
He kept licking the female, apparently to make sure she's his exclusively.
Their sex organs are located close to their tail tips. here they were actually copulating.
What amazing animals!
Apart for that pair we had another 2-3 shy males, and this yearling female, not longer than 20 cm:
We also had this Slow Worm (Anguis fragilis) and a couple of Common Lizards.
There were some birds around too - singing Willow Warblers, Yellowhammers, Siskin and a Lesser Redpoll. Today my attention was focused on the ground so I'm sure there was much more.