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Adder Killed - By What? Not nice photos.

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Marsh View Drop Down
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    Posted: 07 Apr 2013 at 5:02pm
Found this VB today, obviously been attacked and killed. But by what? My guess is a corvid, maybe a jay as there are a few around this site. Anyone have any idea?

Not pretty photos, so you might want to skip this.



A closer view after I moved the head along the body.

Out of interest, when I was moving the head the tail end moved and I saw the hemipenes emerge briefly. My guess is that this was a kill from a few hours B4 I found it.
You can see the head had been bashed, so I guess the attacker knew to do this.
Hopefully the crime will not be repeated too often as the numbers here are declining from what I can work out. Saw 5 today after a 2 hour visit, saw four of those within first 35 minutes.
There has been a bit of work done on the site recently and I think it may have affected some of the hibernacula areas adversely.
Marshall





Edited by Marsh - 07 Apr 2013 at 5:31pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote herpetologic2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Apr 2013 at 10:46am
Quite possibly be a dog attack, foxes or a gang of kids
 
are you monitoring the site it would be helpful to enter the data for Make the Adder Count
 
 
Cheers
Report your sightings to the Record Pool http://arguk.org/recording
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marsh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Apr 2013 at 8:42pm
OK, typed in once and lost the Internet, try again.

My feeling is not dog/fox/kids as no bite marks or similar at all. Just damaged head and pecked(?) body for food. Which would discount kids for me. The body cavity seemed pretty "skinny", no meat left. There was some blood splatter on surrounding dead leaves, but only spots. See leaf below body on first photo.
Just felt it was interesting to record.

I have been visiting site for about 40 years, but don't really monitor as such. My original records for the area (actually quite a large area of NW Surrey) were on the early BHS record cards. I have made a few records on the new thing.
I would be interested in sharing some of the hibernacula sites I know of with other responsible recorders, in the hope that they could monitor more frequently than I am able. I'm just more of a photographer now, than the reptile nut I once was, but I still love to find my first herps of the year.
This site was one of my best back in the 70s, went down hill, recovered a bit about 10 years ago, and has now dropped off again. That statement is based entirely on my sightings and visit frequency, so make up your own mind on that. In the 70s I could find 30ish every day, 10 years ago maybe 20, now, well 5 on this day. But, I have definitely been alarmed that some of my regular den sites are showing nothing, as against the occasional adder.
It is also the best place I have ever found for seeing AF basking, not sure why but I always seem to see them here, but not much elsewhere.

OK, that's enough for now. Thanks for the reply, I was beginning to worry that my post was inappropriate or something.
Cheer
Marshall

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote flywaver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Apr 2013 at 9:00pm
I believe that might be the result of a Pheasant. Any seen in the area?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marsh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Apr 2013 at 9:23pm
Interesting idea, but no pheasants that I remember ever seeing, in 40 years. That's why I was thinking corvid - lots of Jays.
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Edited by Marsh - 23 Apr 2013 at 9:23pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Apr 2013 at 10:06pm
Nothing inappropriate, it's just hard to know what happened to it and very quiet on here these days.

You took the time to warn the pictures are not pleasant, so fair enough. 

I came across an adder with it's head stoved-in on a secluded track a few  years ago which was still wriggling. My gut feeling was it was deliberate but I guess just as likely that a cyclist had run over it by mistake or something. Still there are plenty of people out there who will kill any snake on sight sadly.
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