Epping Forest - Hooray for May

by Christian Moss May. 14, 2017 1796 views

Female Adder

I was thrilled to bump into this beautiful female adder (named Olive).

I last saw Olive in October 2013 when she was a small snake making her way in the world.

She has blossomed into a fabulous, healthy looking female.

Grass Snake - Epping Forest 

I'm only getting out once a week at the moment but I'm still seeing plenty of interesting wildlife.

Terrapin - Epping Forest.

A couple of herpetologists are going to study the terrapins of Epping Forest and find out exactly what they are feeding on.This will involve catching and swabbing the reptiles plus looking at gut contents.

Common Toad - Chingford.

Toad numbers have fallen by more than two-thirds in 30 years, according to a study using data from volunteer patrols set up to help the amphibians cross roads.

Green Hairstreak - Wanstead Flats.

I spent a wonderful four hours watching sparring hairstreaks.

Gosling of Connaught Water.

Always nice to see goslings & ducklings at Connaught Water. 

Great crested grebe with young spotted as well.

Vipera Berus

The adder is the only venomous snake native to Britain. Adders have the most highly developed venom injecting mechanism of all snakes, but they are not aggressive animals.


The turtle trend began in the early 1990s when thousands of red-eared terrapins, each capable of living up to 30 years, were bought by young fans of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cartoon.

 Terrapins are not native to the UK and are a voracious predator, consuming plants and any animal they can catch.

They impact upon native aquatic life, including amphibians, invertebrates, fish and possibly even young waterfowl. They can carry diseases including Salmonella which is transmissible to humans and domestic animals, such as dogs.

By controlling non-native species in the ponds, conditions and habitat for native wildlife will be improved and the biodiversity of the ponds increased for all users to enjoy.

Green Hairstreak

There were no known records of Green Hairstreaks in the Wanstead area until a colony was discovered on Wanstead Flats in May 2013.

Beautiful Olive.

If you spot any amphibians or reptiles in the UK please submit your record online via the Record Pool. 


Green hairstreak

This butterfly is the most widespread of our hairstreaks. However, it is also a local species, forming distinct colonies which can be as small as a few dozen individuals, although other colonies can be much larger.

Epping Forest Grass Snake

Epping Forest has a healthy population of Grass Snakes. 

You can find them from Bell Common in the north to Wanstead Park in the south.

Small tortoiseshell

Captured in the old sewage works at Wanstead park.


Protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and classified as a Priority Species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.

You can also find me on other social media platforms.


Facebook page - Wildlife Photography by Christian Moss

Canada Gosling

Splash of colour

Captured on Wanstead Flats.


Green Hairstreak

This butterfly is found throughout the British Isles - partly due to the wide variety of foodplants it uses, and the wide range of habitats it frequents.


The grass snake is the largest species of British snake, and is identified by its olive green body and darkish spots or streaks on the flanks

Males can be told apart from females by a swelling at the base of the tail, and a longer tail in relation to the females tail.

Females tend to be longer than males, however males have a longer tail section than females.

Join the conversation
There are 3 comments , add yours!
Paolo Martini 3 years ago

great shots

3 years ago Edited
Rob Marson 3 years ago

Great photos and insightful commentary. Never been lucky enough to see an adder in the wild - I'll keep hoping and that I'd manage to get the great pictures you have. Nice work.

3 years ago Edited
Jay Boggess 3 years ago

Fascinating series & wonderful camera work, as always!
Thank You!
Are there many reports of fatalities, as a result of adder venom?

3 years ago Edited
Copyright @Photoblog.com