When Will Enough Be Enough?

Yet another adder is killed by a buzzard. You may have to click on the photograph to enlarge it, but this picture and the one below leave no doubt that endangered reptiles are being routinely killed by common predators.

It would be boring to turn this blog solely into a series of articles which bash buzzards – it is patently obvious that something needs to be done about these birds as soon as possible, but before I sign off on them for now, it is worth including two photographs that I took this morning of a buzzard killing and flying away with an adder.

This is the third time I have seen a buzzard killing an adder in the last month – It looks like it is the same one or two birds killing these snakes, and I was pleased to have finally managed to take a photograph of the behaviour, despite the fact that they are pretty poor quality. In my defence, the bird was three hundred yards away and I was in a moving car with dirty windows.

I hope that these photographs are good enough to show that buzzards are routinely killing and eating adders in the Galloway hills, and prove once and for all that these worryingly abundant animals are actually causing harm.

Like adders or loath them, these fascinating reptiles are at an all time low in numbers and distrubution in Britain at the moment, and they clearly cannot afford to get picked off one by one by a bird of prey that has recently become as common as muck. As I’ve written on this blog before, if any other kind of animal posed such a threat to the biodiversity of the nation, we would be allowed to control it. As it is, it looks like we’re going to have to stand by and watch the snakes of Glengorse gradually vanish.

With colours slightly altered, there can be no doubt what is happening here.

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