Today we witnessed the mini-migration of the endemic turtles to our area, the Southwestern Snake-necked Turtle. It’s interesting how names change for birds and animals. I grew up knowing it as the Long-necked Tortoise.
I was up early to sow seeds into the new beds. It had been raining lightly throughout the night by the appearance of things and the earth was ready. The Little Fellas gave something of a hand, then got distracted and the morning grew quite humid. We ventured out shopping and returned before a late morning down-pour which then cleared and left us with a very humid, but sunny, afternoon.
The Little Fellas and myself ventured out to take a bike ride and collect some aquatic plants from the nearby swamp to add to our frog ponds and water filter system. We saw many interesting little pieces of wildlife including young skinks that were very inquisitive and came quite close along the board walk near the swamp.
As we returned we came across a number of female turtles that were making their way up from the swamp to lay their eggs in the sandy areas of the surrounding bushland or houses. I all my time in Albany this is only the second time I have seen it despite being on the lookout, so I was thrilled. We had seen one casualty along Golf Links Road where there is signage and reduced speed areas put in place each year between September and November.
This particular female found a sandy location right next to a house to lay her eggs. She then quite forcefully thumped the sand back over the hole she had dug with the back end of her body. She was probably a little more than 100 metres from the swamp. Once done, she ventured back through thick grass towards the swamp. Done for another year. The hatchlings will begin to emerge in autumn and make their way to the swamp.