Sunday, 20 March 2011

Adder (Vipera berus) – Norfolk

I have become fascinated by Adders (Vipera berus) and – as my knowledge of them has improved – I've also become much more adept at finding them. And with a colony of the reptiles just 10 minutes or so from the house, I've been able to make time to take plenty of shots, but also simply to sit and observe them. With the males and females having hibernated for around 150 and 180 days respectively – venturing from their burrows only once the ambient temperature rises above 9ºC – they now spend much of their time basking in whatever sunshine is available. For this reason, I find the best time to spot them is in the mid-mornings, when the sun has started to warm up the ground and is providing enough heat for the adders themselves to recharge their metabolic batteries. I've also included a few context shots to illustrate how the snakes prefer – at least at this time of the year when the sun is still relatively weak – to do their basking close to dense gorse or shrubs into which they can flee when disturbed.


  1. Hey Tim love the use of shallow DOF in the Adder shots. There is a good texture/feel to your work. Can I ask what camera/setup do you use?

  2. Hi Birdtracker. Thanks for your kind comments. These shots were taken with a Canon 1Ds MkII body twinned with either a Canon L-series 24-70mm 1:2.8 USM lens or a Canon L-series 70-200mm USM 1:4. Hope that helps – Tim