Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Um... more adders...

"Folie a Trois" by Derek Bennet

Okay, okay... I know I said the last post was the last one on the adder dance, maybe even promised, I can't remember, but when I saw this photo above which was kindly sent to me yesterday I just had to share it with you.

It is very rare that all three of our adders dance at the same time with each other. In all the years I have been here, I have only seen it once... about four years a go. I had heard that they may have done it again on Saturday just gone, but took the news with a pinch of salt. Until this photograph, taken by Derek Bennet, was kindly sent through to me at the Centre.

I am so disappointed to have missed it with my own eyes, but equally so pleased that at least some of our visitors managed to witness this event! And how great did Derek do to take this beautiful photo above? Thanks again for sending it in, it really is a pleasure to see.

"Matt and Dancing Adders" by Mark McElligott

While on the subject of sharing photos, here is one taken by Mark McElligott of me photographing the dance last Friday. As I have said before, I thoroughly enjoy spending time with the adders at this time of year, and have had some of my best experiences this year with one examining the inside of my macro lens, one climbing over the camera while I am trying to photograph them and other close encounters.

Mark was kind enough to take and share this photo with me... it is always lovely to have photographs of yourself with the animals, especially at times like this.

Okay, this really will be the last adder post for you on the dance as I imagine some of you are all addered out now. I just had to share the photo of the three of them dancing all at once though. Hope you enjoyed looking at it.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

More Adders

Yes I know, more adders, but you know it gets like this every time at this time of year... After thinking that they may have stopped dancing for this year, they surprised me by putting on another display today! I was completely oblivious, but thankfully one of our members, Karen Jones, kindly found me to let me know they were at it again.

I only saw it for a few minutes, but managed to get up close. You know I love adders, and when they had finished dancing I stayed in there for a bit to watch them and talk to the public about their behaviour. At one point I had an adder in the lens of my macro, and at another point one beginning to climb over the camera in my hand... what a great experience!

This gives me hope that they may dance again over the weekend. As I have said before, no guarantees of course, but I would imagine it will be the last weekend that they MAY dance... I can't see it lasting till next weekend, especially since the females have both mated now.

Back to non adder news next week... I have a few posts on the back burner due to the adders this week, so will roll them out as and when. Plus news on a new sister blog which may not interest all of you, but will certainly interest some.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Dancing Adders

Yes, yes, yes!.. Our adders have put on a good display both yesterday, and so far today. All three males have been involved with the dancing, although only two at one time. Unfortunately I have been unable to see any of it today, and have only been told by the keepers, but yesterday the above two dance for about twenty minutes in the morning before the silvery one slipped off and the other sandy one joined in.

After much rest, the two sandy ones had another go at the end of the day, but only for about ten minutes. Fingers crossed we may still get some dancing over the next few days... I have even been told that some people saw them mate again today. As I said in the last post, a very rare thing to see, so we really have been spoilt this year.

Anyway... here is a short video of them dancing yesterday. For more dancing and information on how, why etc they do it have a look at last years video at the bottom of this post. In-between the two videos are some pictures of them in action yesterday, more will eventually go up on a sister blog I am working on.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Adder Action

The weekend provided visitors with some great adder action, or at least some rare glimpses of behaviour not often seen.

Firstly, on Saturday, two of our adders were seen mating. This is rarely observed with snakes, and probably more so with adders... In the ten years I have been here I have never seen it before, so I was extremely grateful when member Peter Trimming came to find me and let me know it was happening.

You can see from the photo above how they actually couple while mating. They were not on view for long, before slipping off in to the grass, but to see some more and quite frankly, better photos of this follow the link on the right to go to our flickr page!

Then on Sunday we saw two of our adders dancing... For those of you that have followed the blog for at least a year or more, you will know how much I look forward to this every year. They were only at it for about a minute before giving up, but both were interested in our second female so hopefully the next few days will see some more dancing.

It can't be guaranteed of course, so don't visit just to try and see this beautiful ritual, but if you do want to try and see it this following week may be a good time to try.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Fox Cubs

No, we don't have fox cubs at the Centre... I just want to make that clear before people come just to see them and get disappointed, but we did welcome four young cubs for one morning last week for a new project the owner is working on.

A couple of days a go now, Wildlife A&E kindly brought in four of their orphaned cubs that they were rearing for us to film for an upcoming project (which you will hear more about later this year). As many of you know, we took the decision to stop breeding our foxes a few years a go, so it was lovely to see fox cubs at the centre once again, if just for a brief spell.

Have a look at this video to see them having a bit of fun in out inside area for the foxes in the barn...

Thanks once again to Louise and Wildlife A&E. To see all the good work they do follow the links below to their website and Facebook page.