Monday, September 26, 2011

Turtle Hatch

Over lunch hour, I was walking around the park, as usual. On the upper level near the tennis courts, a man approached me and excitedly showed me a baby snapping turtle he had discovered on or near the sidewalk. It was probably about 3 inches long, half of which was tail and looked just like this:

baby snapping turtle by Elizabeth Weller - BY-NC-ND

The man was afraid that the baby snapper would get trampled (not by turtles), so he scooped him up for a free ride to the lake. Apparently the turtle had been found very close to the spot where I met him, so there may be more baby snappers emerging from a nearby nest over the next little while. If you're walking or biking on the upper level of the park near the tennis courts, keep your eyes open.

Fall is officially here. Both according to the calendar and according to the birds. White-throated Sparrows (my official herald of fall) have begun to pass through the park, as have decent numbers of Yellow-rumped Warblers and Ruby-crowned Kinglets. Large flocks of Chipping Sparrows this morning also signal southern sparrow movement. I'd have been lucky to see one or two of them a week ago. Herons have become scarce in the last a couple of weeks, and a Pied-billed Grebe has been on the lake occasionally.

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