Adder or Common European Viper, a snake with black, zig zag markings

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Male Adder (Vipera berus) -  the venomous Common European Viper at Porthgwarra Cornwall © 2018 Steve Ogden

Venomous Adder, Common European Viper, Vipera berus

A visit to the dramatic sea cliffs of Porthgwarra, one of Cornwall’s best seawatching and bird migration places, produced a real mix of wildlife.

Out at sea hundreds of Manx Shearwaters and Auks passed by while on land recently landed migrant birds included a male Subalpine Warbler.

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Adder (Vipera berus) -  the venomous Common European Viper at Porthgwarra Cornwall © 2018 Steve Ogden
The sea here is mesmerising, making it all too easy to get totally obsorbed staring out to sea while walking along the cliff tops.

The venomous adder crossing the path a few feet in front of us was an uncomfortable reminder to look down as well!

This beautifully marked male was easily identified by its black, zig zag markings running down its back.

It was fascinating to watch it glide effortlessly across the tops of the heather and gorse. No wonder these snakes have little difficulty finding and predating birds nests.

Other adder sightings in Cornwall feature the Lizard and Porthcurno Beach.

Adder (Vipera berus) -  the venomous Common European Viper at Porthgwarra Cornwall © 2018 Claire Ogden

For some Porthgwarra has become more famous for featuring in the Poldark TV series than seawatching.

Scenes from the little beach and cliff tops appear regularly in the popular series.

However, the cliff top walks and wildlife are worth a visit alone.

And for those not keen on snakes a chance encounter with an adder should not deter a visit. Indeed, like most reptiles adders are more afraid of you and rarely bite people. Unlike the lethal Puff Adder encountered in South Africa!

Other wildlife seen included Peacock butterflies, Common Lizard and Fox Moth caterpillar,