Predation of grouse chicks is an on-going concern by gamekeepers on all grouse moors, and usually birds of prey get the blame. But the latest account by Simon Lester head keeper at Langholm of an adder predating a small grouse chick is unusual to say the least we would imagine.
This is what Mr. Lester had to say this week about the incident on his gamekeeping diary. The full story and an image of the adder at the dinner table can be viewed here.
Of all the creatures that I’ve seen and know take chicks, I could not begrudge the adder that gobbled one up and, in doing so, provided me one of the very special wildlife moments (well, it was more like half an hour actually). One day when I was out doing my rounds, I could hardly believe my eyes when, on the bike track in front of me, I saw an adder with a grouse chick’s head in its mouth. Looking at the size of the chick—which looked about four days old, with its wing feathers just forming—and the size of the adder’s head, I thought: “You’ve bitten off more than you can chew, old sport.”