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Iolo is back, in Welsh Border Life


From adders to Egyptian geese, it’s proved to be an eventful spring for Iolo

by Webmaster, 20th May 2021

From adders to Egyptian geese, it’s proved to be an eventful spring for Iolo

Recently, I spent two memorable spring days in the Anglesey sunshine trying to film ‘dancing’ adders. This natural phenomenon occurs when two male adders wrestle for superiority in order to mate with a nearby female, and despite several previous attempts, it is something I had never witnessed.

On this occasion, the signs were good. We found a location where a healthy population of male adders had been ‘dancing’ every day for the previous week, and the weather was dry and warm. Within minutes, we had seen 4 stunning males in pristine condition, one significantly larger than all the others.  Critically, two were constantly on the move, undoubtedly searching for a female, so conflict was inevitable, or so I thought.

One of the males suddenly emerged out of the brambles only two metres from my feet and as I did my best to imitate a statue so as not to disturb it, a hitherto hidden female emerged from a tussock of grass. With other males patrolling nearby, my hopes were high but immediately, both adders disappeared beneath the vegetation where they remained for more than 20 minutes before sneaking stealthily away into the brambles. I can only assume that they had mated out of sight before going their separate ways, but critically, still no ‘dancing’..........

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