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20 April 2021 Snakedance


I had a feeling about yesterday. The right part of April, the right conditions and a potentially right site. I just needed to arrive at the right time. And have a whole lot of luck. To be fair, yesterday at Minsmere would have been splendid even without the main act. A male black Adder plus a female, two Adela cuprella ('Early Long-horn) bouncing away above the sluice sallows, two Emperor moths seen without lures, two Yellow Wagtails, a Whimbrel in-off plus other passage waders, innumerable Med Gulls, fiery Mossy Stonecrop galore etc. But to watch two male Adder 'dancing' for a full 18 minutes at point-blank range (even if they were largely obscured by vegetation) was a dream come true. Across the past 12 springs, particularly in E Anglia and Kent, I've probably dedicated somewhere approaching 100 days to Adder-watching. Only twice have I been fortunate enough to see males spar: once in 2018(which was mainly chasing, but did culminate in a mating) and six seconds' worth in 2017. So yesterday's experience was peerless, and I'm still shaking. Instead of rabbiting on, I'll let the images speak for themselves. 

James Lowen 

Wildlife

Wildlife