The team here at RSPB South Stack have been enjoying the sunshine and so have the wildlife. Last week an adder slithered up to the visitor centre, a rare treat to see these secretive reptiles up close.
The adder, Britain’s only venomous snake is quite common throughout the UK and lives in bushy undergrowth which makes seeing one tricky. Although venomous, these snakes are non aggressive only attacking when provoked or if trodden on. Adders hibernate between September and March, with most activity occurring around April time when Males look for a mate. Unlike other reptiles, adders give birth to live young which are about the same size as an earth worm.
Adder by Ben Andrew (RSPB - Images.com)
Other reptiles South Stack provides a home for are common lizards which can sometimes be seen from the path from the bottom car park towards Ellin’s Tower and slow worms, a legless lizard.
Common Lizard by Ben Andrew (RSPB - Images.com)
The Slow worm, a legless lizard, picture by Ben Andrew (RSPB-Images.com)
To find out more about these wonderful reptiles book on to one of our Snake and Lizard Safaris, 21 August and 31 August, 10:30am – 11:30am or 3:30pm – 4:30pm. See our events page on our website for more information.
July and August are great months to spot Butterflies and here at the reserve peacocks, red admirals, meadow browns, small tortoiseshell, common blues and painted lady butterflies have all been seen on the reserve recently. Another small but very beautiful butterfly to look out for is the silver – studded blue. South Stack is home to a number of small colonies of this rare butterfly that lives in colonies on the Heathland. The butterflies take advantage from a mutual relationship with ants usually laying their eggs near ant nest sites. The newly emerged caterpillar larvae secretes a sweet liquid from a gland which feeds the ants and in return the ants offer protection to the larvae from predators. These butterflies can be seen from July to mid August.
A common visitor to gardens, the Peacock butterfly by Grahame Madge (RSPB-Images.com)
Love Lepidoptera? Book your place on our next moth event. Sunday 27 July 9:45am – 11:45am.
For more information on any of our events follow the link to our events page http://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/s/southstackcliffs/events.aspx,
Email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the reserve on 01407 762100
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