Most people I have spoken to are surprised that adders start to emerge from hibernation in February, but emerge this month they do! Last year friends of mine were photographing adders with snowdrifts in the background. They are hardy creatures but they do like the sun. As soon as it becomes cloudy they disappear beneath the undergrowth to await the sun’s return. Adders hibernate in colonies in areas they return to year after year, but then they start to disperse next month and spread out across the Moors.
Under expert guidance I was able to find 5 different ones on Tuesday within a quite short period of time. The scales behind the head provide a ‘fingerprint’ for each animal as no 2 are the same and this therefore makes it easier to ensure that you have not seen the same one more than once.
At this time of year the adders are still quite docile but remember they are venomous creatures and will bite, especially if they are provoked. My advice is to never go looking for adders unless you know what you are doing or are with someone who does. The Eastern Moors run a Discovery Workshop called ‘Adders on the Moors’ and this year it will be held on Saturday 17th May. This is always the most popular workshop and booking is therefore essential. For details see the Eastern Moors website or Facebook page.