I have recently been looking for reptiles on my walks – I have seen a few lizards and snakes crossing paths disappearing into the grass or shrub. Several placed pieces of corrugated iron which make a good hiding place for snakes to hide as they warm have proven unsuccessful in attracting anything so far.
In the New Forest, there is a small centre where they have pits with a few of the local reptiles that are found in the forest that you can see if they show themselfs. The centre has been closed for the last few years due to COVID but is now open a couple of days a week. We visited yesterday and were able to get a few pictures without falling in!
The Adder is the only venomous snake in the UK. It spends time soaking up the sun. They have a distinctive, black zig-zag pattern along their backs. The female is larger than the male and is copper or brown in colour while the male is silvery-grey. Adult Adders measure between 60 and 80cm in length.
We were lucky enough to see a female in the sun approached by a male.
If properly treated, the worst effects of the snake’s bite are nausea and drowsiness, followed by severe swelling and bruising around the bite. No one has died of an Adder bite in the UK for many years.
Due to the loss of habitat, the Sand Lizard is one of the UK’s rarest reptiles we were lucky to see this male in full breeding colours. they have a life span of up to 20 years.
Slow worms are legless lizards may people wrongly think they are a snake. Occasionally, individuals may have small blue spots behind their heads, a feature that is more common amongst males than females. This slow worm was seen on Monday’s walk and quickly made an escape into the vegetation. We also saw a Common Lizard on the same walk but he was too quick and disappeared before I could take any pictures.