European Adder (Vipera berus)

Recently we were fortunate enough to be stomping around the U.K and of course we took the opportunity to seek out the local wildlife. During one expedition we came across this extremely handsome fellow near Southwold in Suffolk England.

The day was quite cold and the wind off the North sea was bracing to say the least so to come across a snake was something of a minor miracle, not least because on the whole reptiles are not very well represented in the U.K [three species of snake and around 3-4 species of lizard being the total amount].

In fact when we told people we were looking for snakes the most common response was that we were wasting our time. Indeed eh!?.

When we discovered the snake it was pressed to the side of a narrow walking track in the grass, no doubt seeking whatever warmth from the sun as could be had. Upon discovery, it became extremely pugnacious, flattened it's body, hissed and struck repeatedly - not a happy camper at all. However, I should add that this behaviour was no doubt a response to the fact that we had stopped and were obviously to close for the snakes comfort. I imagine had we simply walked by, the snake would have remained still and not made any attempt to defend itself.

As it was, after apparently deciding we weren't going to go away, the animal simply slipped into the long grass and almost magically disappeared.

To say we were stoked would be a grievous understatement and I still can't believe our good fortune.

Adder (Vipera berus)

The Adder is a true Viper, unlike Australia's 'Death Adder' which is actually an elapid [like the Taipan or Cobra]. It is also the United Kingdom's only native venomous snake - and a pretty damned cool one at that!.

All in all, an excellent day.

UPDATE:

A friend of ours, Aaron sent us an email recently which including this exert:

"I was out workin with my uncle a couple of weeks ago, straw bailing, and he got bit by an [English] adder! It was amazing how he just appeared from nowhere and struck my uncle in the stomach! Nothing serious just an ice pack to cure the bite, I did try and get a pic for you but he wasn't hanging around!"
Ya gotta love a guy that tries to photograph a snake that just bit a family member - brilliant!.

Cheers Aaron

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