My herping adventure started in the Bon Echo area near lake Mazinaw where I saw a bunch of lifers (new herp species) with the Salamander Man. There was a vernal pool and the surrounding area was filled with salamanders including a possible Jefferson/blue spot hybrid also known as a polyploid because of the number of chromosomes they carry. We also heard of some skinks up the road but found nothing when we looked. The area was beautiful right up in the Canadian shield. Not only were there a plethora of salamanders but also large amounts of birds, turtles and evidence of beavers. The most difficult thing was trying to narrow down which photos out of the 1095 I had taken to post online.
After visiting the Bon Echo area we headed south to some herping spots along the St. Lawrence, there we checked out some spots that were suppose to yield Blanding's turtles but did not, next we checked out a stream and found large amounts of northern two lined salamanders. Finally we went off looking for snakes and stumbled upon many water snakes and garters including a very cute young garter snake. Even on the way back the herping did not stop as on my way back to Peterborough we stopped to save a painted turtle that was crossing the road. Overall a fantastic herping trip with more trips like it on their way!
I went for a little walk through a nature area close to campus where I was fortunate enough to see a plethora of wildlife including my first garter of the year. I find the garters around Peterborough to be a more vibrant yellow and to also be more aggressive as they do not hesitate to bite. Over all a good hike and later today I will be on my way to the Bon Echo area where I will be looking for some salamanders and hopefully some lifers with the Salamander Man (photos will be posted upon my return).
Using a map I went for a walk down the Scenic River Road Trail which stretches from Trent University to Lakefield. The map had promised me turtles and it did not disappoint, I found many, many Midland Painted Turtles and many Leopard frogs, some of which were calling for a mate. I also saw a Hairy Woodpecker and many Common Mergansers. After I reached Lakefield and had turned back to Trent I Noticed someone releasing a baby Painted Turtle that they found about ten minutes away down the path. Hopefully the baby turtle will make it!
After volunteering with turtles today I checked out the zoo which is on my way back and saw this adorable Bobcat just sitting in a box cleaning himself. I also saw some macaws, Squirrel Monkey, Sulawesi Forest Turtles and a Goat .
Some turtles I saw while volunteering at the Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre. The map turtle, lounging snapping turtle, Blanding's turtle and the stinkpot are all native turtle species which reside in the turtle centre and are used for outreach. After volunteering, I found some large pieces of wood in a field and lifted them to find a tiny red-bellied snake but it slithered off before I could get a photo, the little thing was a lifer, a herp I hadn't seen before.
Went out looking for snakes by the old farm used by the forensics department at my university. I did not find any but on the way back I did find a pond filled with nothing but tadpoles the size of golf balls. When I got back with a net I caught a leopard frog and one of the large tadpoles. Then I caught a little spring peeper which unfortunately escaped into the tall grass. Spring peepers are responsible for the loud beeping sounds that come from most wetlands. Peepers are also the smallest frogs in Ontario and incredibly hard to find by the sides of ponds.
Herping has been sparse to non existent this season however today marks my first herps of spring. Tonight I found a plethora of frog calls from at least three different species at a marsh on university campus. As I was almost knee deep in marsh I also noticed a friendly Muskrat which posed for my photo. The most significant find of the day however was this adorable little Chorus Frog which are some of the smallest frogs in Ontario. I also found a few large, golf ball sized tadpoles, one had the beginnings of legs too.
Went for a hike today to a heron rookery I found in the fall, knowing that in the spring it would be filled with herons I decided to check it out. On the hike there we saw a pair of Buffleheads on the river and I got a good shot of Eurasian Starling. At the Wildlife area that had the rookery we say a little Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker and as we moved closer to the rookery I spotted the first nest. I saw a little blob which I though was a baby heron so I zoomed in with my camera to find that it was instead a Great Horned Owl in a heron nest. The rest of the rookery was filled with Great Blue Herons all of which apparently without young as of yet. The area was also filled with the peeping of Spring Peepers and the call of a near by Pileated Woodpecker. Over all a good hike with lots of animals, oh and I found an owl pellet which I thought was pretty neat.
I'm Mac Marzolini and I created this blog for a variety of reasons, the first of course is to open a window into what is happening in my life (cause my grandmother reads this), but also to help myself catalogue some of my favorite photos from my many adventures.