the online meeting place for all who love our amphibians and reptiles
Home Page Live Forums Archived Forums Site Search Identify Record Donate Projects Links
Forum Home Forum Home > Herpetofauna Native to the UK > Adder
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - Winter Adder
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

Winter Adder

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  <12
Author
Message
Rags View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member


Joined: 04 Dec 2011
Location: Dorset
Status: Offline
Points: 127
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rags Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Feb 2017 at 5:42pm
I agree - a bit of both.

150 days sounds like a long winter - 1st November to the 30th March ?

When we moved to Dorset I didn't really think about going out to look for reptiles until mid- March, if the weather was okay. I met a young lady at an early adder site near Swanage and she told me that she was seeing adders a few miles away as early as the start - mid February. I started looking earlier in the year when the weather was only borderline and behold, Adders. Not only adders but early grass snakes and lizards too.

The short closed season this winter was largely due to very late sightings of one particular adder around 22nd December. This years first sightings are 6 days later for me.

I think this coming Monday 20th, will be a good time to search. I'm thinking it's about Sand Lizard time?

Ray.
Back to Top
Suzi View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member


Joined: 06 Apr 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 966
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suzi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Feb 2017 at 7:51pm
I think if there were dedicated sessions of looking for early snakes and lizards we might see a lot more. Adders tend to be in more particular habitat than our other species and so not so often chanced upon. People might remember a couple of years ago I was seeing slow worms under my covers up until December 4th, I think it was. I too had always thought March was a likely time for their emergence from hibernation, but when I looked in February, lo and behold there they were. This is all easy as I only need to walk down my garden to look for them. Adders for me would entail a drive out to a heath and if it had been wet (very likely) then very difficult underfoot. 
Again, having got newts in my ponds I am surprised to see them early in the year, or even all winter. I've seen a GCN in both ponds (or same one moving from pond to pond) earlier than I would have expected. 
What I'm trying to say is I think that if these species are looked for earlier than expected in the year, then I think we might get more surprises.
Suz
Back to Top
will View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Feb 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 1761
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote will Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Feb 2017 at 9:02am
I reckon it just didn't occur to people to look so early / late in the season for herps.  I remember as a kid back in the 80's we had male GCN in full breeding dress in our garden pond in early January.  The received wisdom was that snakes couldn't be found beyond the start of October, hence Malcolm Smith's 150 day rule of thumb for adders - from early Oct to early March.  It's shame that reptile emergence data wasn't more rigorously collected as it could help other phenological studies regarding climate change etc.

Could be time for the first (dull!) male sandy, Ray - how long until someone finds all six species on one day this year?
Back to Top
Rags View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member


Joined: 04 Dec 2011
Location: Dorset
Status: Offline
Points: 127
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rags Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Feb 2017 at 3:05pm
People are paddling in the sea down here! Proper Spring feel to the day - plenty of time for snow yet.

I wasn't the only one enjoying the day...

Wall Lizards in good numbers.


First La this year...


Back to Top
Rags View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member


Joined: 04 Dec 2011
Location: Dorset
Status: Offline
Points: 127
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rags Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Feb 2017 at 3:09pm
Will :
"Could be time for the first (dull!) male sandy, Ray - how long until someone finds all six species on one day this year? "


I would think that maybe possible before the end of the month if the conditions hold.
Back to Top
AGILIS View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: 27 Feb 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 1685
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AGILIS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Feb 2017 at 9:27am
Super colours ray ,keith
   LOCAL ICYNICAL CELTIC ECO WARRIOR AND FAILED DRUID
Back to Top
AGILIS View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: 27 Feb 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 1685
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AGILIS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Feb 2017 at 9:29am
Best of luck on the London sites Will weather looks a bit warmer Keith
   LOCAL ICYNICAL CELTIC ECO WARRIOR AND FAILED DRUID
Back to Top
will View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Feb 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Status: Offline
Points: 1761
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote will Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Feb 2017 at 11:08am
Cheers Keith - good to hear from you - had three males yesterday, let's hope that's it for winter!


Back to Top
Liz Heard View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Apr 2010
Location: South West
Status: Offline
Points: 1251
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Liz Heard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Feb 2017 at 11:14am
Originally posted by will will wrote:

I reckon it just didn't occur to people to look so early / late in the season for herps.  I remember as a kid back in the 80's we had male GCN in full breeding dress in our garden pond in early January.  The received wisdom was that snakes couldn't be found beyond the start of October, hence Malcolm Smith's 150 day rule of thumb for adders - from early Oct to early March.  It's shame that reptile emergence data wasn't more rigorously collected as it could help other phenological studies regarding climate change etc.

Could be time for the first (dull!) male sandy, Ray - how long until someone finds all six species on one day this year?



Once again, think you're right Will. And just like Suzi, before i had the convenient viewing of my own ponds i wouldn't have considered checking for frogs and newts in winter, but then i discovered there's no big hibernation 'shut down' and although there are less of them than during the breeding period, i can find some individuals active on all but the very coldest days. Even then, as others have noted, i have sometimes observed them moving about under ice.

Great post Rags, thanks for the report. I've been looking for slow worms and vivs in the usual spots but nothing so far.
Back to Top
Richard2 View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member


Joined: 01 Dec 2010
Status: Offline
Points: 285
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Richard2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Feb 2017 at 9:53pm
At Studland on Saturday, one female Sand Lizard at about 4.30 (and a big starling murmuration in the distance).


Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  <12
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 11.06
Copyright ©2001-2016 Web Wiz Ltd.

This page was generated in 0.063 seconds.