Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 08/05/2012

Hissing Sid was Innocent




7th May 2012, originally uploaded by http://andrewskelton.net.

Another day, another blog entry… I must say they do seem to be coming round quicker and quicker at the moment. After my forest walk yesterday I’ve been trawling the internet trying to find sites that outline the fieldcraft needed to spot and then photograph Adders in the wild. The most obvious of these is to provide a large metal surface that the snakes can hide underneath and use to increase their body temperature but as I don’t own the land where I would need to locate the metal sheet, it’s not something I’m willing to do. So far I’ve not had much success apart from “look near logs and bushes”, something I’d already figured out for myself whilst out on the heathland yesterday. What I was hoping for was some type of track, markings, or midden identification to help then follow these elusive creatures but despite the seemingly exhaustive nature of information on the internet, so far I’ve not had any luck, well… not when it comes down to tracking. I did find an email address for someone who manages the forest and who has run courses in the past to try and see the snakes in the wood (as opposed to “on a plane”) and so an introductory mail has been sent.

All this talk of snakes has re-ignited one of my objectives for last year, to find a herpetologist course that will provide me the necessary qualification to handle snakes in the UK in line with UK legislation on this protected reptile. I don’t have any desire to be another Austin Stevens or Steve Irwin, and I certainly don’t have any desire to cause stress to any animals (despite pointing large lenses at them!) but it would be good to know what i’m doing around these slithery serpents to allow me to get the pictures, knowing that I’m not breaking any laws especially Mother Nature’s.

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