Turtle finding!

Quite a nice day today, except for the rain that came down when I was about to head back and the flat tire on my bike which made the paddling through the rain even more difficult. Sigh.

Great Blue Heron herding the Gadwalls onward.

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)
Catching a small snack.

Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)
A Brown-headed Cowbird that likes to perch on treetop at the worst lighting conditions ever. Nice songs though.

Near the Terra Nova Rural Area, a pair of Cinnamon Teals and a (immature?) Hooded Merganser were spotted in the pond (as well as the nesting Killdeer).

While looking at the ducks, I accidentally stepped on something solid. And this was what I saw when looking down! A turtle shell??

Is it still alive? This is the upper shell, also known as the carapace.

It looked fine to me.

The lower shell, also known as the plastron. It's a small-sized turtle that's about the size of my palm. I wonder what species is it? [Edit: According to Hugh, it seems like another case of exotic pet unwanted and abandoned. I hope bad karma goes to whoever that abandoned this creature.]

I was thinking why it was there and what to do with it? Either it's a wild turtle or someone has decided to release it there. And should I leave it back on the grass or should I bring it home and decide it's fate when I get home. Eventually, I decided to leave it be and put it closer to the water edge to see if it will go into the pond where it's safer from human feet.

Slowly, it came out of hiding and slowly crawled into the pond and away it goes! Hope I made the right decision.

Uh-oh. Rain is coming. Time to pack up the camera and go home.


Hugh said...


Interesting. I don't know what the turtle is, but it isn't a Western Pond Turtle, which is listed as extirpated in Canada (COSEWIC, 2002). The keels on the carapace and the heavy markings in the middle of the ventral scutes are wrong for that, in addition to other colouring as far as I know. I am in no way a turtle expert, but it doesn't look North American to me. My guess is abandoned, not-well-cared-for pet.

Wanderin' Weeta said...

There was a turtle similar to this one in and around our pond when we lived near Mission. It survived several winters, bad ones, during that time.

I think you made the right decision. Wild turtles don't do too well in captivity.

PSYL said...

Thanks, Hugh, for your help. I didn't know that the Pond Turtle is extirpated already. Sad.

I hope so too, Wanderin' Weeta. Now I just hope the turtle doesn't damage the surrounding wildlife and habitat. Otherwise, I'd be feeling really bad.

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