On Tuesday the 2nd April 2013 my good Friend David and I decided to pay a visit to Laughton Forest near Gainsborough to try and photograph adders. We also decided that we would have time to take a trip to Chambers Farm Wood near Wragby to see if we could get photographs of Siskin and Redpoll and anything else that was about.
I picked David up at 08:00 and we made the forty minute journey to Laughton forest. Laughton is forestry commission run and there is ample parking. The weather forecast was for good sunny spells but low temperatures. However, David knew the area where we were likely to see the adders and it is a fairly well sheltered spot that also allows sunshine on it for most of the day. The sunshine should hopefully tempt the adders to come out and bask in it to warm up. It was a fairly bright morning when we left home but as we neared the forest the sunlight was replaced by cloud.
I decided to use the Canon 100mm macro lens hand held as I wanted to get some low level shots of the adders and this would be difficult to achieve using a tripod. We searched the area that the adders are known to frequent but could not find any. It was however very cold without the sunshine and was obviously too cold for the adders to come out. We waited for a couple of hours hoping the sun would show and tempt the adders out but it wasn't to be. At around 11:00 we decided to give up and make our way to Chambers Farm Wood, another forestry commission site.
On arrival at Chambers Farm Wood we soon set up our gear and there were plenty of birds visiting the feeding station but alas no Siskin or Redpoll. Not a good day so far. Nevertheless I did get some decent shots of the Blue, Great, Coal and Long-tailed tits that were visiting the feeding station. The sun was shining nicely now and we did wonder if we had given up on the adders at Laughton too soon.
We had about an hours shooting and also had our dinner then decided it was worth going back to Laughton as it was so much brighter. We arrived back at Laughton around 13:45 and although it was brighter than in the morning the sun was very intermittent. We were soon at the spot where the adders are known to frequent and as it happened a very nice guy (I never thought to get his name) was doing an adder survey and he was actually photographing one. He very kindly allowed us to photograph this adder alongside him and I soon had a good number of shots on the card including some nice close ups. This particular adder was a male and a very dark coloured one as well. Over the next hour this snake showed itself very well, not being at all concerned by our presence.
I have never been as close to an adder before. I have seen them several times in the summer months on Crowle moor but usually a fleeting glimpse as they slithered off into the undergrowth. It was a great experience to be able to observe and photograph this beautiful snake at close quarters.
We found another male snake, a lighter coloured one but it was nothing like as obliging as the darker coloured one. We spent time chatting to the guy doing the survey, and when the Adder presented itself in photogenic poses taking a few more photographs. It was very soon 16:20 hours and it was obvious it wasn't warm enough for any more adders to be showing themselves so we packed up and made our way home. What seemed like at one stage was going to be one of those days when you go out and come home without the photographs you were hoping for turned out to be an excellent day. I was more than pleased with the Adder images I got.