James Lowen 


7 April 2021 Easter snake

The day before the first COVID lockdown, knowing full well that we wouldn't be leaving home for weeks to come, Family Lowen visited a Norfolk heath to look for Adders. It thus seemed appropriate for our first family outing following the end of the latest lockdown to be to have the same mission. It was a lovely sunny Easter Sunday. Andrenabees were swarming, with a parasitic Nomada loitering by one nest hole. Redpolls, Siskins and Crossbills were calling overhead. Woodlark song filled the sky. A male Hen Harrier coasted west just inland from the Cley shingle. Brents were piling overhead while waders whisked in the opposite direction. And six male Adders were on show (none yet sloughed, though that must be imminent), plus one very large female. The latter looks worth keeping an eye on, particularly because she was basking adjacent to an enclosed open area perfect for dancing and because she has today been observed with an attendant, recently sloughed male.

The joy was fettered only by encountering a dead male Adder that appears to have had its head bitten off. By what? A dog? Most odd. No rising from the dead for this poor soul.