Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Adder Extreme Close Up

While out surveying reptiles and amphibians for NARRS (National Amphibian and Reptile Recording Scheme) my nephew Paul and I came across a male adder (Vipera berus). He was out in the open as the temperatures were around 14 degrees, but more importantly, he was getting ready to slough (shed his skin).

When snakes are getting ready to slough, fluid builds up between the new inner and old outer layers of skin to help with the shedding process. When this happens, their eyes turn a milky blue colour and their vision is impaired.

He knew we were there, but because were didn't harm him, he decided to stay put, which was fab news for me as I just happened to have my camcorder handy.

He hisses a couple of times, but that was because my movement was slightly too fast for his liking. I have been monitoring adders and grass snakes for years and know how to act around them, so as not to upset them or disturb them.

You may be surprised at this footage, especially when he kisses the front of my camera, but my point has always been this. Snakes are not monsters, they are beautiful reptiles, which deserve and need our respect and help!

Please Enjoy!

Snake and Birds

Sorry for the late posting!

Plenty of brambling, siskins and goldfinches at the feeders at New Fancy on Friday 20.03.2009.

They were squabbling quite a bit though!

Even a dunnock turned up!

On my way up to the viewpoint, I found two male adders, here is one of them.


Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Male Adder at New Fancy

I photographed this male adder through the fence on the walk up to the viewpoint. The fence has given the pic a sort of misty appearance.
I was in a hurry and didn't remember my tripod so this was hand held with my 100 - 400mm Canon lens at full stretch and two ext tubes attached! Point of focus in on the snakes body!! I will do better next time though.

Adder Video Footage

Lovely weather for reptiles today at New Fancy, although too hazy to see the Gos. Saw three male adult adders, a juvenile female adder and a common lizard on the walk up to the viewpoint, see video footage of a male adder at the bottom of this post.

My best encounter of the day was with a Roe Deer Buck in Speech House woods, sorry for the blurry pic, but it was a grab shot, tried getting a little too close! See pic below. Wish I had filmed him now!

Roe Deer Buck

Male Adder Close Up

Monday, 16 March 2009

The Listening Hare

This was taken on Sunday 15.03.09 near Corse. Sorry for the shaky footage, but it was hand held out the car window at 50x optical zoom. As you can see his (or her) ears picked up when we started talking about photographing it. Approx 10 seconds after this was taken it legged it at a very high speed through a nearby hedge.

New Fancy Deer

Here are some Fallow Deer I filmed on Friday 13.03.09, while looking down from New Fancy viewpoint towards the felled area below. Two of them are melanistic (or black) (no target on their bums).

This was taken with my Panasonic SDR H60 at 50x optical zoom.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Birds of Prey Pics

Here are some birds from The International Centre for Birds of Prey at Newent, Gloucestershire.
Write up on previous entry.

Friday, 13 March 2009

Birds of Prey

A recent visit to the International Bird of Prey Centre at Newent proved to be a unique experience for me.

I was writing a new feature for BBC Gloucestershire as well as photographing the birds. While meeting Jemima Parry Jones (Director of the centre) I learned that she has been involved in a vulture conservation project in India for quite some time. There are three vulture species in India at present, which are on the verge of extinction from eating poisoned meat. The meat has not been poisoned deliberately, but the farmers have been treating there cattle with a cure all human drug called diclofenac, used in humans for the treatment of arthritis.

Jemima is travelling to India this month on a conservation project to help save the vultures from extinction.

If their efforts fail, Asia will be faced with a catastrophe on a scale, which has never been seen before. The vultures keep the land clean and without them, parts of Asia will become death zones due to disease.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Sightings - March 2nd 2009

New Fancy, no pics today as I was there viewing only.

I x male adder (first sighting this year) on the walk up to the main viewpoint

4 x Goshawk displaying

4 - 6 Buzzards

6+ Fallow deer in the felled area


A sparrowhawk, Hawfinch (by feeders) and around 10 Gos were spotted earlier in the day, but alas I missed them.