First adders of the year

Flanders Moss NNR

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Perhaps unsurprisingly with the current weather in mind I saw my first adders of the year on Flanders yesterday. Two males were spotted from a distance, binoculars and telephoto lens used so as not to disturb them. Males are usually the first to come out of hibernation. Both adders were partially under the grass, using the vegetation to regulate their temperature by lying partially in the shade. It made them very hard to spot. In past Februarys I have seen adders lying clear in the open trying to get as much sun as possible so it shows how warm it is currently.
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I was surprised to only find two. Normally at this site there would be more basking. We will have to monitor this population over the spring to see how many individuals there are as there is a concern that the very high populations of deer on the Moss is making conditions less suitable for adders by trampling and eating the grass and heather. This removes valuable cover that the adders need to help regulate their temperature and avoid predation. Keep following the blog to find out more.

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