Friday, 13 April 2012
Are our Adders Dancing?
It seems like they may well be... I heard rumour last week that someone saw our adders dance, but thought it unlikely. It is a little early for our adders, plus I have not yet seen one of our female adders out yet. However, at the beginning of this week someone else mentioned to me that they have just seen our adders dancing, and then today I got a third person mention it to me as well as a confirmed sighting of one of our female adders out.
This is both good and bad news for me. It's great that they seem to be dancing, and I am posting this today as this weekend may be the last chance to try and see it for a while. However it is so frustrating for me not to have seen it myself. You may think being here all the time, how can I miss it? But the truth is... I am here all the time, working, and so have little time to spend watching the adders.
The "Dance of the Adders" for me is one of the best British Wildlife sights, I never tire of seeing it and some of my favourite photos are of this reptilian behaviour. I have yet to see it in the wild, something I hope to do one day, but have been lucky enough to see it close up here over the last three years.
The "Dance" is a mating ritual between rival males, competing over nearby females. They raise up to the front half of their bodies off the ground, weaving with each other in a jerky fashion, trying to force each other down to the ground.
It is essentially a display of strength between each other, but to the onlooker comes across as a beautiful, swaying dance which is both mesmerising and hypnotic in equal measures.
Hopefully I will be able to bring you photos of this years "dance" later next week, but until then why not come and see if you can see it for yourself. I will certainly be spending a little more time by their enclosure this weekend.