Spring has arrived and it is the best time of year to look for adders. Its when they become more active and come out to bask warming themselves up in the morning sunlight. For the past month or so I have been searching local Kent sites that are known to hold adders. Until today every trip had proved to be unsuccessful. Adders are incredibly difficult to spot due to their excellent camouflage and I am not convinced that I would notice one if I walked right next to it.
As a species they are nationally in decline and also suffer from persecution for this reason I am not willing to disclose details on locations. Perhaps unfairly these snakes have earned a reputation as being dangerous due to their venom. The truth is they are actually quite passive normally moving away to find cover if disturbed and will only bite if antagonised or feel threatened as a last means of defence.
It is best to look for them on south facing banks during the morning as once they have warmed up they will return into the vegetation.
When photographing adders it is important to try and be as light footed as possible. They have extremely sensitive bodies and will be able to detect even the slightest vibrations in the ground that will cause them to quickly slither away. Try and keep at least the length of the snake away to avoid stressing it and maintain your own safety in the unlikely event of a strike.