Called into Ingram valley yesterday with my wife and young son for a wander about and stumbled (literally) across four adders, nearly stepped onto two of the buggers!
Luckily I spotted the two when I had James with me so headed back to car and left him with my wife safely out of their area, then I headed off into the hillside with the camera this is when I realised that there were actually four in a very small area probably about 4m x 4m. It was a rocky area underneath a small tree and I felt very uneasy with all those snakes around me as they kept appearing from under my feet and I only had trainers on not my usual walking boots which made the risk of a bite more dangerous as trainers would've provided no protection to me at all.
Keith Reeder suggested I should have tried to move the grass away from its eyes before taking this image! :-)
I think not!
After spending a few minutes with the snakes I decided to move on as I really didn't feel comfortable with them all around me. I headed back into the valley and drove onto the visitor center where I spoke to the wardens and let them know where the adders were. Apparently there are alot of them this year and he suggested that three of them were probably large females and one definately a male (something to do with the amount of brown colour on the skin sexes them.).
This one above is the same one as in the first image. It was the best behaved of the four but it appears BLIND on all the pics i've got of it, there are no eyes just indentations where the eyes should be.
I've included this image just to show how difficult it can be to find an adder in the wild, Please take extra care when in the great outdoors wear walking boots to provide extra protection against an attack even experienced walkers like myself do occasionally get too close to adders. I nearly got bit last year when out with Keith in the Cheviots I lent over a stone wall to take a picture of some flowers (without checking it first.) and an adder was basking on the top of the wall! That could've been a very costly error and its one I wont repeat in a hurry!
On the birding front the area was rather quiet but I did see whinchat, buzzard, grey heron, BHG, robins, thrush, spuggies and the usual tits and finch around the visitor center area. One cuckoo was calling higher up the valley but I couldn't see it.