UKC

Adders at Tremadog

New Topic
Please Register as a New User in order to reply to this topic.
 Alex Riley 08 Jul 2024

Hey all

Seasonal reminder to take care to watch out for Adders at Tremadog, especially at the top of the crag (had a close encounter today).

They like to hide on the footpaths, especially in sunny warm spots between rocks. Adders are very shy and sense using vibrations so they will usually be long gone by the time you walk by, but if you do come across one give it a wide berth. Their bites can be very painful but are rarely fatal and they usually only bite when interfered with or stood on.

Adders are easily identified by their distinct zigzag pattern on their back. Adults are usually 60-80cm long.

 dinodinosaur 08 Jul 2024
In reply to Alex Riley:

Found this magnificent beast on Holyhead earlier in the year when I almost stood on it.

Edit: Photo didn't upload, will try again later 

Post edited at 19:07
 Dave Cundy 08 Jul 2024
In reply to Alex Riley:

I saw one sunning itself on the path going down to Carn Kenidjack, in April.  Pale yellow/green, about a foot long. First one i've ever seen, so was quite chuffed.

OP Alex Riley 08 Jul 2024
In reply to Dave Cundy:

I saw my first live one yesterday, so I was very surprised to see my second one today!

 climberchristy 08 Jul 2024
In reply to Dave Cundy:

Someone with more expert knowledge might be along to correct me, and I'm happy to be corrected, but adders are unlikely to be pale yellow / green. More likely you saw a small young grass snake?

2
 Myfyr Tomos 08 Jul 2024
In reply to Alex Riley:

Garreg yr Ogof in Traws is a noted adder spot.  https://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crags/carreg_yr_ogof_gwynedd-2619/


 Jp 09 Jul 2024
In reply to Alex Riley:

Good spot Alex, and good advice. I think it's always special seeing an adder. Their rapid decline accross the UK is a sad story. Hope you're all well! 

In reply to Alex Riley:

I saw an adder for the first time last year in north Yorkshire.

It moved across a path, hissing as we accidentally got quite close. Huge thing and a special moment I'll never forget.

 Richard Horn 09 Jul 2024
In reply to Alex Riley:

All my sightings of Adders have been on cliff top paths near crags! - one at Swanage, one at Berry Head, and one at Zennor in Cornwall...

 Rick Graham 09 Jul 2024
In reply to Richard Horn:

Seen a few in cornwall and sw lakes.

At Hodge Close Quarry the belay above Limited Edition was a nut and Friend 1 or 1.5 in a natural rock pocket. Not many climbers realised that a snake  used this pocket as a nest. Sometimes you could just get a glint from two eyes peering out of the depths Never seemed to complain about sharing house with a cam  for some unknown reason.

Seen adders at Hodge but not sure if one in that pocket.

Edit. Snakes in the UK soon seem to move away as soon as they detect a rattle of gear or foot stamping. In Spain however, in some of the deep limestone pockets, I have nightmares of fangs plunging into my mitts.

Post edited at 10:23
 Dave Cundy 09 Jul 2024
In reply to climberchristy:

Pretty much as soon as i saw it, it slithered off into the grass, so my observations were limited to "pale yellow-green skin" and "black markings like a tyre tread pattern".  The only other 'snakes' i've seen are slow worms in our box at the allotment.

My climbing partner saw 'an adder' a few days earlier at zennor crag.

 gribble 09 Jul 2024
In reply to Alex Riley:

I found this gorgeous beasty at Curbar gap. Also seen one on the Froggatt path.


 Alincumbria 09 Jul 2024
In reply to Alex Riley:

Came across this one in Galloway a couple of weeks ago. It was not happy and reluctantly slithered off hissing loudly.


 steveb2006 09 Jul 2024
In reply to climberchristy:

> Someone with more expert knowledge might be along to correct me, and I'm happy to be corrected, but adders are unlikely to be pale yellow / green. More likely you saw a small young grass snake?

I'd agree about this being a small grass snake - very odd you get a down vote for saying that though.

 gethin_allen 09 Jul 2024
In reply to climberchristy:

Aren't females usually paler and almost yellow/green?

Just to add an image for comparison between males and females.

https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-common-adder-vipera-berus-adult-female-tw...

Post edited at 14:08
1
 Tom Valentine 09 Jul 2024
In reply to Richard Horn:

My only ever sighting was in at the top of Lighthouse Arete (VS 4b)

 JohnDexter 09 Jul 2024
In reply to Alex Riley:

Black adder seen in 2015 on Cnict. The absolute highlight of a fabulous couple of days wild camping. 


1
 climberchristy 09 Jul 2024
In reply to gethin_allen:

Females usually copper or brown colour underneath the black zig zags. Males generally grey or silver beneath the zig zags.

 climberchristy 09 Jul 2024
In reply to steveb2006:

No surprise to get down votes for an honest, reasonably worded contribution to a debate. I'm sad to say that  on ukc pointless/bewildering down votes are far too common, and rarely do the down voters come forth to explain their disagreement. You watch, I'll get numerous downvotes just for raising the issue of downvotes!

23
 gethin_allen 09 Jul 2024
In reply to climberchristy:

I've seen some that have been almost straw coloured.

 climberchristy 09 Jul 2024
In reply to climberchristy:

As predicted! 😁

16
 donrobson 15 Jul 2024
In reply to JohnDexter:

I saw a small fragment of boot lace whilst walking on the Range at Holyhead - then the suspected baby adder slithered away.

 ExiledScot 16 Jul 2024
In reply to Alex Riley:

Adders can vary massively in colour, from shades of brown/fawn with distinct patterns, to black / dark grey where unless they are stationary it's nearly impossible to notice the pattern. 

Grass snake is a bit of a generalisation with 3 different types of grass snake: grass, smooth and barred(some sourced describe as eastern and western). All differ slightly in patterns, colours, or white cheeks. None has the diamond pattern though, adults are generally bigger than adders and aren't venomous. A presence of grass snakes is said to deter Adders, as allegedly they immune to their venom and are a threat.

In reply to Alex Riley:

It would be great if this (and other sightings on this thread) were recorded. Climbers' and adders' habitats tend to overlap and we get to see them in inaccessible locations that the public don't tend to get to.

Details of how to record this and other noteworthy wildlife sightings - https://www.thebmc.co.uk/have-you-seen-an-adder

1
 wbo2 16 Jul 2024
In reply to Alex Riley: It's quite surprising to read they're so rare in the UK, especially around crags as they're very common in SW Norway. 4 in 5 minutes at Nordland https://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crags/nordland-9079/#maps on a summer Sunday morning a few years ago 

OP Alex Riley 16 Jul 2024
In reply to wbo2:

It's probably down to hugely different population densities and habitat loss as a result.

Norway 5.4 million people in 148,000 square miles

UK 67 Million people in 94,000 square miles

 midgen 17 Jul 2024
In reply to Alex Riley:

Only adder I've seen was in Scotland, small one at the base of practice crag in Coire Lagan, a couple of years ago. 

 mrjonathanr 10:52 Thu
In reply to Alex Riley:

I saw a large brown adder slither across the path in front of me at Gogarth. We were setting off back from the gearing up area at the Main Cliff, a couple of summers ago.

In reply to ExiledScot:

> Grass snake is a bit of a generalisation with 3 different types of grass snake: grass, smooth and barred(some sourced describe as eastern and western). All differ slightly in patterns, colours, or white cheeks. None has the diamond pattern though, adults are generally bigger than adders and aren't venomous. A presence of grass snakes is said to deter Adders, as allegedly they immune to their venom and are a threat.hesths

I think it’s more that adders and grass snakes prefer different habitats.  I’ve only ever seen grass snakes near slow-moving fresh water - they eat tadpoles, small fogs and newts (and allegedly fish) as well as invertebrates, caught in and around water.

Adders prefer drier moorland, heath and mountainside (especially sunny cliff tops) and so climbers see them quite often.  They tend to eat more small mammals and invertebrates.  I’ve seen them sunbathing at the top of many a crag in Pembroke, Devon and Cornwall, and occasionally in the Peak.

Here’s a grass snake in our garden (we have a big pond full of newts).  I think most (all) British grass snakes are now thought to be Barred Grass Snakes (Natrix helvetica) but there’s still dispute about subspecies.

Post edited at 16:02

In reply to climberchristy:

One of the joys of seeing an adder in a new place is the colouring - it varies quite dramatically. My favourite are the mint green ones of Islay and Jura (Isle of snakes if ever there was one).

In reply to Dave Garnett:

Once saw a really large grass snake slithering away on the long walking down descent at High Tor - quite a bit above any watercourses.

In reply to Michael Hood:

Still pretty close to wet areas and food sources though.  The other thing they need is warm, damp places to lay their eggs - traditionally farmyard manure heaps, but these are getting harder to find since the main waste product from most dairy farms is now liquid slurry.

In reply to Alex Riley:

I was going to say 'is she?', but that might rather date me...


New Topic
Please Register as a New User in order to reply to this topic.
Loading Notifications...