walkhighlands

Record your sightings of wildlife and birds on this board - even better if you managed to capture a photo.
Warning Please avoid giving out the locations of nest sites for rare birds.

My first Munro, and my first Adder!

My first Munro, and my first Adder!


Postby JohnFaeGourdie » Sun Apr 18, 2021 1:47 pm

Had the very good fortune of beautiful weather yesterday while bagging my very first Munro, Mount Keen from Invermark car park.
Managed the round trip of just under 12 miles in around 6 hours and was rewarded with spectacular scenery, amazing views from the summit, and encountered my very first Adder as we were passing Queen's Well on the return via Invermark Castle.
Definitely been bitten by the bug and fortunately not by the snake!
Attachments
66DD7270-91E3-4B83-925F-ED862FE681A8.jpeg
Adder by Queen’s Well
8408EF19-AA57-4398-8914-887A982B1CCB.jpeg
Adder by Queen’s Well - close up
User avatar
JohnFaeGourdie
Walker
 
Posts: 13
Munros:3   
Sub 2000:2   
Joined: Mar 20, 2021
Location: Dundee

Re: My first Munro, and my first Adder!

Postby onsen » Sun Apr 18, 2021 5:39 pm

Beautifully marked....I have a soft spot for wriggly walking sticks. :wink:
User avatar
onsen
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 282
Joined: Oct 10, 2012
Location: The Great Southern Land, Australia

Re: My first Munro, and my first Adder!

Postby Alteknacker » Sun Apr 18, 2021 11:10 pm

What a beautiful creature! Lucky you. I've spent innumerable hours/days/weeks/months in the hills, but only rarely been treated to this lovely sight.
User avatar
Alteknacker
Scrambler
 
Posts: 3222
Munros:173   Corbetts:31
Hewitts:236
Wainwrights:100   
Joined: May 25, 2013
Location: Effete South (of WIgan, anyway)

Re: My first Munro, and my first Adder!

Postby CharlesT » Mon Apr 19, 2021 12:55 pm

Very handsome boy indeed. Warming up in the sun and off in search of a lady adder or two. 'Tis the season.
User avatar
CharlesT
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 3980
Munros:156   Corbetts:2
Hewitts:262
Wainwrights:214   Islands:2
Joined: Dec 22, 2011
Location: West Oxfordshire

Re: My first Munro, and my first Adder!

Postby Caberfeidh » Mon Apr 19, 2021 2:30 pm

Very striking markings, that would make a great necktie! :D How long would you estimate that snake was? (Please don't anyone get close with a measuring tape!) I once saw one in the Cairngorms big enough to give me a fright - about five feet I think. I also once found a cast skin which was four feet long - right outside Bob Scott's Bothy, a place I have often walked around in my bare feet... :shock:
User avatar
Caberfeidh
Stravaiging
 
Posts: 7521
Joined: Feb 5, 2009

Re: My first Munro, and my first Adder!

Postby CharlesT » Mon Apr 19, 2021 4:22 pm

Caberfeidh wrote:Very striking markings, that would make a great necktie! :D How long would you estimate that snake was? (Please don't anyone get close with a measuring tape!) I once saw one in the Cairngorms big enough to give me a fright - about five feet I think. I also once found a cast skin which was four feet long - right outside Bob Scott's Bothy, a place I have often walked around in my bare feet... :shock:

That would be a giant of an adder. They average about 60cm, males, as in the pic, slightly less. He's so bright looking as he's probably just sloughed his skin and is looking for a mate. Late April into May is the prime mating season.
Don't think he would find your tootsies particularly palatable. 😁
User avatar
CharlesT
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 3980
Munros:156   Corbetts:2
Hewitts:262
Wainwrights:214   Islands:2
Joined: Dec 22, 2011
Location: West Oxfordshire

Re: My first Munro, and my first Adder!

Postby Caberfeidh » Mon Apr 19, 2021 4:37 pm

I watched a documentary on telly about a place on the Solway coast; lots of dunes and so on; the presenters found an adder about five feet long climbing up a dune - they kept a safe distance and filmed it with a zoom lens. I hadn't thought they could grow so big, and then ages later I saw the big one in the Cairngorms. I thought it was a length of rusty chain lying in the grass (by the wee humpback bridge at Inverie) until it moved - and so did I ! :shock:
User avatar
Caberfeidh
Stravaiging
 
Posts: 7521
Joined: Feb 5, 2009

Re: My first Munro, and my first Adder!

Postby CharlesT » Tue Apr 20, 2021 3:06 pm

Caberfeidh wrote:I watched a documentary on telly about a place on the Solway coast; lots of dunes and so on; the presenters found an adder about five feet long climbing up a dune - they kept a safe distance and filmed it with a zoom lens. I hadn't thought they could grow so big, and then ages later I saw the big one in the Cairngorms. I thought it was a length of rusty chain lying in the grass (by the wee humpback bridge at Inverie) until it moved - and so did I ! :shock:

Sorry to spoil the fun of the "monster" adder story but the longest recorded in the UK was 87cm, just under three feet. Grass snakes can be half as long again and mis-identification is not unknown.
User avatar
CharlesT
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 3980
Munros:156   Corbetts:2
Hewitts:262
Wainwrights:214   Islands:2
Joined: Dec 22, 2011
Location: West Oxfordshire

Re: My first Munro, and my first Adder!

Postby Caberfeidh » Wed Apr 21, 2021 9:02 am

But this giant adder skin is nearly as long as this giant elk antler...

Scotties April 07 008#p#r.jpg
Giant adder skin beside giant elk horn
User avatar
Caberfeidh
Stravaiging
 
Posts: 7521
Joined: Feb 5, 2009

Re: My first Munro, and my first Adder!

Postby CharlesT » Wed Apr 21, 2021 10:53 am

This may help, from an internet search of an authoritative source

"A shed skin is much longer than the snake that shed it, as the skin covers the top and bottom of each scale. If the skin is shed intact, each scale is unwrapped on the top and bottom side of the scale which almost doubles the length of the shed skin."

BTW The Giant (Irish) Elk, now extinct, had antlers that could reach 12 feet across and stood seven feet tall at the shoulder. You wouldn't have wanted to meet one of those on a dark night.
User avatar
CharlesT
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 3980
Munros:156   Corbetts:2
Hewitts:262
Wainwrights:214   Islands:2
Joined: Dec 22, 2011
Location: West Oxfordshire

Re: My first Munro, and my first Adder!

Postby Caberfeidh » Fri Apr 23, 2021 9:10 am

CharlesT wrote:The Giant (Irish) Elk, now extinct, had antlers that could reach 12 feet across and stood seven feet tall at the shoulder. You wouldn't have wanted to meet one of those on a dark night.


Especially not in the Rut. It might try to make little elks with you... :shock:
User avatar
Caberfeidh
Stravaiging
 
Posts: 7521
Joined: Feb 5, 2009

Re: My first Munro, and my first Adder!

Postby JohnFaeGourdie » Sat Apr 24, 2021 10:39 am

Caberfeidh wrote:Very striking markings, that would make a great necktie! :D How long would you estimate that snake was? (Please don't anyone get close with a measuring tape!) I once saw one in the Cairngorms big enough to give me a fright - about five feet I think. I also once found a cast skin which was four feet long - right outside Bob Scott's Bothy, a place I have often walked around in my bare feet... :shock:
User avatar
JohnFaeGourdie
Walker
 
Posts: 13
Munros:3   
Sub 2000:2   
Joined: Mar 20, 2021
Location: Dundee




Walkhighlands community forum is advert free


Your generosity keeps this site running.
Can you help support Walkhighlands and the online community by donating by direct debit?



Return to Wildlife sightings

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests