Wildlife in June

June is an amazing time in the animal world.

heron green july 2016 a

A Green Heron perched on a branch in its favourite spot along our wooded shoreline.

A green frog keeps a wary eye on its environment in the hopes not to  be caught.

frog green july 2016

heron blue july 2016 a

This large Blue Heron wades stately to its fishing position, chasing away the Green Heron from its favourite spot and scaring the life out of the green frog.

And this one dries her wings perched on the rocky outcrop at the exit of the canal from the River Styx to Colonel By Lake.

heron blue july 12 2016

We saw the Black Crowned Night Heron in this photo below, fishing along our shore. This bird attracts small fish by moving its bill at a high frequency to mimic an insect at the surface. It works!

black crowned night heron june 19 2016 draper bay f

Then there’s there is the carp spawning, while  ducks and geese show off their young. Some mother ducks with twelve offspring in tow. Huge rafts of Canada Geese, with up to a hundred young and their parents, clustered together on  Colonel By Lake.

Robins are nesting at every corner of the house under or in the eavestroughs, or in the flower planters, in the crotch of a downspout  and in carports.

Ospreys fly in and out of the nest to feed their young who’s little heads stick out above the rim of their nests, along the Highway 401 near the Cataraqui river and along  our Colonel By Lake and the River Styx.

And then one morning you step out of the house almost on top of a monster snapping turtle on her way to lay eggs.

snapping turtle henk june 16 2016

This female was on our driveway on her way to a softer gravel and sand berm on the side of the tarmac. After her fear of me towering over her with a camera, she decided to walk towards the berm. Her rear end and tail look straight out of the Jurassic Park, photo below.

snapping turtle henk june 16 2016 bOn her way an inquisitive black squirrel came towards her and she ducked back in her shell. The squirrel stayed far enough away from this strange creature and lost interest. Slowly she stuck out her head, sniffed, looked around and proceeded to the green berm.

snapping turtle henk june 16 2016 cIt took a while to scout out the potential nesting site but finally she entered the “green zone” and slowly disappeared to do what instinct told her to do. Photo below.

snapping turtle henk june 16 2016 e

Jackie Duffin, our neighbour just east of the boat ramp, is an avid nature lover and she sent me this series of photos which is a very interesting continuation of the set above.  “Had some fun photographing this beauty,” She said.

snapping turtle jackie june 2016 c

snapping turtle jackie june 2016 d

snapping turtle jackie june 2016

After scraping sand and gravel over the nest she left this imprint. And after all that effort the chance is very high that a raccoon comes by during the night and digs all her eggs up and has a meal, leaving the shells as evidence. 

Here is a snippet from Wikipedia: The female can hold sperm for several seasons, using it as necessary. Females travel over land to find sandy soil in which to lay their eggs, often some distance from the water. After digging a hole, the female typically deposits 25 to 80 eggs each year, guiding them into the nest with her hind feet and covering them with sand for incubation and protection. Incubation time is temperature-dependent, ranging from 9 to 18 weeks.  

They start breeding when 15-17 years old and can live up to 40 years. That’s why it is so devastating when a mature female gets hit by a car. And many are.

To access the INDEX please click the icon below.

snapping turtle jackie june 2016 a

 Snapping turtles don’t speed.

Drive carefully

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