Amorous Adders at Allerthorpe

Yesterday we had our regular monthly conservation work day at Allerthorpe Common. When we arrived, we found two adders on the bank of a ditch down the side the reserve. They were a few feet apart at first, but the male soon found the female and they became entwined. It was difficult to see exactly what was going on, but they were obviously mating.

The female warms up in the sun

Adders multiplying

During the winter we brushcut a large area of birch scrub. Our task yesterday was to recut the stumps and treat them with glyphosate, so they won’t grow back.

 The herbicide is dyed blue, so we can see where we’ve been

It was the first reasonably warm, spring-like day we’ve had. Four buzzards circled overhead for a while and chiffchaffs were chiff-chaffing all day. We heard a great-spotted woodpecker drumming and a green woodpecker making its distinctive ‘yaffling’ call. I found my first seven-spot ladybird of the year, one of the signs of spring they’re recording on the ‘Big Spring Watch’.

Seven-spot ladybird


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