Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Diamond-backed Terrapin

This evening I went kayaking to a small salt pond nearby that is only accesible via kayak at high tide.  It was a pretty neat place as it's quite deep in the middle and held some decent sized fish (which I heard jumping) but the inlet is heavily shoaled so it's only accessible at low tide.  While I did find a Least Tern colony, I was more excited to spot this Diamond-backed Terrapin heading back into the water, presumably after laying eggs.  I have seen this species of turtle on very few occasions - almost always crossing the road - so it was cool to see one on land and then heading into the water.  A solid reminder that even though we have developed so much of this island, there are plenty of wild areas left to cherish.

After photographing the turtle I stopped to watch and photograph the Least Terns that were coming and going from the colony.  Then I saw a horseshoe crab move back from the shoreline into the water - which you see below.  The shorebirds in the photos were feeding on freshly laid horseshoe crab eggs so they have the fuel to continue migration or raise a family.  Such is the tough way of nature.