RAUK - Archived Forum - First of the year?

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First of the year?:

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longcrippler
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Joined: 11 May 2007
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Posted: 17 Feb 2009
A bit of warmth in the air today so I went up to Aylesbeare Common, East Devon. One male by some thick grass tussocks, one female flattened out, basking. But surely others have beaten me to it?
herpetologic2
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Joined: 15 Jun 2004
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Posted: 17 Feb 2009
Was it really a female?

any photos?

good job btw

J
Vice Chair of ARG UK - self employed consultant -
visit ARG UK & Alresford Wildlife
longcrippler
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Joined: 11 May 2007
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Posted: 18 Feb 2009
Sorry, no photos (I must get a camera sometime!)
I'm no expert on adder sexing, I know there's been plenty about it on this forum and it isn't so straightforward. I was going by the coloration; brown zigzag on a reddish-brown background. I stand to be corrected; is your question based on males emerging earlier?
herpetologic2
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Joined: 15 Jun 2004
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Posted: 18 Feb 2009

yep - but it may be muddled in the south west.

Often females reported the early part of the year are most likely to be males with their old skin looking browner than normal.

 

J


Vice Chair of ARG UK - self employed consultant -
visit ARG UK & Alresford Wildlife
MandS
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Joined: 28 Mar 2007
No. of posts: 4


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Posted: 18 Feb 2009

One of our adders was out at Maulden on Monday 16 at approx 1300 hours with snow still lying in the fields.

Marcus


Marcus and Susan, BedsRAG
Suzi
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Joined: 06 Apr 2005
No. of posts: 860


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Posted: 18 Feb 2009

Aylesbeare Common is one of my adder watching haunts. Good for you seeing them so early. Despite looking early each year I never see them in Feb.


Suz
dave fixx
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Joined: 13 Mar 2007
No. of posts: 319


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Posted: 19 Feb 2009
will be looking up here in North wales tomorrow,earliest last year was March 3rd at this site although I didnt see one till April (which was my first search).Got to be worth a go.
Dave Williams
davewilliamsphotography.co.uk
Wolfgang Wuster
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Joined: 23 Apr 2003
No. of posts: 326


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Posted: 20 Feb 2009
Two males out today at my favourite Anglesey site, and a friend tells me of having seen a few at his two sites in the same area.
Wolfgang Wüster
School of Biological Sciences, University of Wales, Bangor
http://sbsweb.bangor.ac.uk/~bss166/
dave fixx
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Joined: 13 Mar 2007
No. of posts: 319


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Posted: 20 Feb 2009
Well it was worth it today ,found this guy with Mick our local recorder at our  local site near Mold,he was last in to hibernation and looks like hes first out.Nothing at another site on the moors yet though.I found this fella on his way to bask at 10 30 and he was still there at 3.30 on our way back from the other site. dave fixx39864.4717361111
Dave Williams
davewilliamsphotography.co.uk
will
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Joined: 27 Feb 2007
No. of posts: 330


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Posted: 20 Feb 2009
Is it too late to join the party ?  here's the first London adders of the year - duly encrusted with 4 months' worth of mud, but beautiful all the same !  10 Deg C, good sun.  (Not great pics, but didn't want to disturb them this early in the season, with their batteries not recharged, as it were).

Cheers

Will



Chris Monk
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Joined: 21 Apr 2004
No. of posts: 157


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Posted: 20 Feb 2009
A few of the early males are out up in the Peak District, a week after the sites were under a foot or so of snow - several people looked on sunny days at the end of last week but found none out on the snow. This year's first sighting was yesterday (19th) which was 22 days later than last spring. For the past three years its always been the same male out first and he doesn't budge from his spot for a couple of months, though unlike Dave's he wasn't the last one out when I went down there late last autumn. John Newton went up there today and since yesterday he has been joined by his two companions.


Chris
Derbyshire Amphibian & Reptile Group
www.derbyshirearg.co.uk
Peter Vaughan
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Joined: 21 Mar 2005
No. of posts: 170


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Posted: 21 Feb 2009

Hello Herpers!

I made my visit of the year to my local site here in NE Hampshire at mid-day today- conditions were promising, 11 C, intermittent bright sunshine, only a light breeze.  Seeing two male Brimstone butterflies on the way there was also encouraging - in past years the first of these appear at the same time as the first Adder sighting.

I saw a single snake - a male that I first saw three years ago, which was the first Adder to appear at this site in 2008.

A good start to the 2009 season.

Peter


Peter Vaughan
Chris Monk
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Joined: 21 Apr 2004
No. of posts: 157


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Posted: 21 Feb 2009
FIRST FEMALE ?

Despite an absolute gale on the moors today, making the air temperature of 7C seem more like 0C John Newton & I met up to look round some of the sites which usually have a few adders out early. The sun was obviously having an effect at adder level as we found 24 out across several sites. There were a couple of notable features, the first of which was a young female out with 3 males on a steep south facing slope. Looking back through the records this is by far the earliest female, beating 2005's date of 10 March by two and a half weeks. She was within 2 metres of where last year's first female was seen on 13 March, though not the same animal as last year it was a larger older female.
(Sorry for the poor picture, John who had been videoing the animals couldn't find out how to take a still photo, so by the time I had got my cheap old compact digital camera out of my back pack she was on her way into the vegetation)
Secondly at one of the dispersed hibernation areas which we have been counting for the Make the Adder Count project since 2005 produced 8 males, more than the maximum counts made in any of the previous years

Chris
Derbyshire Amphibian & Reptile Group
www.derbyshirearg.co.uk
arvensis
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Joined: 15 Mar 2006
No. of posts: 445


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Posted: 21 Feb 2009
Is it me, or is the tail of the Vb in Peters pic showing a bit of damage?  Will have to meet up soon Peter and have another look at your site.

No Vb's here yet, despite the weather seeming perfect today

Mark

Hampshire Amphibian and Reptile Group.
Peter Vaughan
Senior Member
Joined: 21 Mar 2005
No. of posts: 170


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Posted: 21 Feb 2009

Hi Mark

Yes I think the tail is looking a bit stumpy - I looked back at photos from 2006 which clearly show that this individual was missing some tail back then.  I've seen several reptiles at this site with tail damage over the past three years - including the first Common Lizard I saw in 2006 (Feb) and the first Slow Worm out in 2008 (early Feb).  Pictures of them will be on earlier threads.  I wonder whether that is just coincidence or

1.  Are early emerging reptiles particulalry prone to attack by predators?

2. Do injured animals emerge earlier than others?

3. Are they just easier to spot because they don't move as fast?

Anyone any thoughts on that?

Happy to meet up again - we can arrange via PM.  Despite searching over the past three springs I've yet to find any other hibernation locations within the wider site - but it seems unlikely that there is only one.

Peter

 

Peter Vaughan39865.8024074074
Peter Vaughan
tim-f
Senior Member
Joined: 13 Apr 2008
No. of posts: 60


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Posted: 22 Feb 2009

Hello all.

A couple of hours on the Mendips this afternoon was pretty productive.  Saw 5 adders, all male I think, but all quite dark.  Didn't see the black one which has been around the last couple of years though.  Much more fun that the DIY I should have been doing.

Tim.

 

 


st rick
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Joined: 26 Apr 2006
No. of posts: 141


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Posted: 22 Feb 2009
Well done everyone who has spotted adders already this year.  I wanted to post the first London Adder pic, so kudos to Will.

I'm hoping to get out tomorrow.

tim hamlett
Senior Member
Joined: 17 Dec 2006
No. of posts: 572


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Posted: 27 Feb 2009

hi

cloudy this afternoon but checked a local site for lizards anyway. none around but this little thing was braving the cold.

 

it was about 20-25cm stretched out so how old would that make it? also, at what age does it become easier to sex adders? one last question...is it likely that this adder was around a communal hibernacula?

cheers

tim


dave fixx
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Joined: 13 Mar 2007
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Posted: 27 Feb 2009
nice pics Tim.
Dave Williams
davewilliamsphotography.co.uk
tim hamlett
Senior Member
Joined: 17 Dec 2006
No. of posts: 572


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Posted: 27 Feb 2009

cheers dave

thanks to the cool weather i was able to get within inches of it.

tim

 


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