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Snapping turtle hatchlings had recently gotten squashed by cars at Mud Lake: http://ofnc.wordpress.com/2014/09/12/mud-lake-turtle-rescue/

May I ask that any OFNC member who goes to Mud Lake from now until mid-November please also take a minute to check for trapped hatchlings on the road in front of the filtration plant?

— Bioblitz is an event organized by Nature Canada. Bioblitz runs from 3 pm on Friday to 3 pm on Saturday, twice a year (Spring and Fall). Here’s more information: http://naturecanada.ca/tag/bioblitz/ Anyway. On Friday, I was most excited for the “what goes bump in the night”/Evening Critters and Sounds and there I was, speeding through my Biology report so I could get there on time. No worries; I’ll double-check it. I also had to deal with excruciating hunger, so I dropped by a fast-food store on Carling Ave. and gave up on my “early by 10 mins” plan. Holding a burger on one hand and the bike handle on the other while riding down Carling isn’t exactly the best thing to do. 7:30 pm – Nature Canada member Alex lead the group through tree trunks where he put a sugary solution trap on to attract insects, notably moths. Partially due to cold weather, there were no insects on most of those trunks. After a while, he found two lucky trunks with ants, earwigs, moths and a pillbug. He explained that pillbugs, also known as potato bugs, are crustaceans (same as crabs, etc.) related to the giant pillbug (giant isopod) that lives deep down in the ocean. No picture, sorry.


Success! Spot the moth.

He then went on to try and do a playback of an Eastern Screech-Owl call. It didn’t work and did at the same time; a baby (part of the group) kept on crying as he played it. The walk ended soon after. Prior to going on the walk, I read the blog post mentioned in the beginning of this post. I took a few minutes after the walk and checked the road for flattened turtles, but didn’t find anything. Perhaps I should have done so earlier.


“I shouldn’t be late like last time,” I thought. 7:40 am – I walked up to the headquarters area, helped set up tables and equipment, and started the Songbirds walk. The weather was cold (12°C ±3 I believe) and very few birds were found. The record for the lowest number of species found during Bioblitz at Mud Lake may have been broken this very day. However, more scarce means higher price and desirability, right? Finding a great blue heron and yellow-rumped warblers today made it to the top of my headlines.

Great blue heron, probably standing still due to the cold.

Great blue heron (in the center). Excuse my camera.

Rain started to fall. Another walk. It poured hard and winds lifted the headquarters tent off the ground. Tables were knocked over and timmies (Tim Hortons stuff) went flying. I sat down and waited for the Reptiles and Amphibians walk that starts at 1 pm. “When does the rain stop?” I asked. “…5 pm.” Herps don’t like this weather. At all. Who does. “…contact the two experts…cancel the walk…no one will come,” a Nature Canada member said (paraphrased). Oh. I might as well leave then. I biked to Carling Ave., jumped on the bus–and went into a trance. “I’ve waited a year for this very walk…I’m crazy…but I can’t–” I looked up and saw “Lincoln Fields” on the bus panel. I quickly got down the bus and biked at full speed (not sure what that may mean) toward the place I just left. “Is the herps walk cancelled?” I asked. “Nope, it’s going on right now,” Sarah (Nature Canada) replied. Leopard frogs. Turtle egg shells. Locations pointed out for checking when the weather’s nicer. End of walk. There wasn’t a single spot on me that wasn’t soaked; I wouldn’t have it any other way if it meant skipping the walk.