A snapping turtle built a nest in a flower garden in Port Dover. Katie Sinkowski photo jpg, SR jpg, SR A Port Dover resident paid close attention to a snapping turtle digging holes in her garden on Monday.“Throughout the day I kept going out to see what she was doing,” said Katie Sinkowski.The turtle spent from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the garden nesting and laying eggs before it left. A snapping turtle laid some eggs in a flower garden at a residence in Port Dover. Katie Sinkowski photo Sinkowski wanted to make sure the nest and eggs would be protected.A few years ago she noticed a turtle nest cover in a neighbour’s yard, so she knew that’s what she wanted for the nest in her garden.Sinkowski drove out to the Long Point Provincial Park where she was able to pick up two nest covers and a pamphlet on how to properly cover the nest and watch the eggs. The covers were provided by the Long Point World Biosphere Reserve.Rick Levick, president at the Long Point Biosphere, said that they started providing the nest covers in the summer of 2018 after seeing that they were successful in other areas. They have 24 covers available this year.The Sinkowski family has just recently moved into their home so this is their first year experiencing the turtles on the property. They plan on contacting the previous owners to ask about their experiences regarding the turtles. “When she was laying the eggs she knew I was there but she didn’t get snappy or anything. A couple days later there was another female that came up and she was getting a little snappy when I walked by,” said Sinkowski.The edge of their property meets with the Lynn River, making it a perfect spot for turtles to nest. There are more turtles closer to the water, but because of rising water levels the turtles are trying to nest on higher ground.“The nesting areas in the marshes are inundated with water,” Levick said. “They (nests) turn up on people’s lawns and gardens, and that makes them pretty easy targets for predators.”Sinkowski has seen predators in the area.“I’ve seen lots of raccoons, and there are coyotes out here too,” said Sinkowski. “It’s pretty important to keep them protected. I’m hoping because she did it so close to the house that they’ll be safer.”Levick said anyone that spots a turtle nesting on their property is able to go to the Long Point Provincial Park to pick up one of the covers. The covers are free of charge, but they need to be signed out and returned once the eggs have hatched.“We just appreciate that if people borrow (the covers) that they return them in the fall,” said [email protected]
The migration of the great snipe Gallinago media was previously poorly known. Three tracks in 2010 suggested a remarkable migratory behaviour including long and fast overland non-stop flights (Klaassen et al. 2011). Here we present the migration pattern of Swedish male great snipes, based on 19 individuals tracked by light-level geolocators in four different years. About half of the birds made stopover(s) in northern Europe in early autumn. They left the breeding area 15 days earlier than those which flew directly to sub-Sahara, suggesting two distinct autumn migration strategies. The autumn trans-Sahara flights were on average 5500 km long, lasted 64 h, and were flown at ground speeds of 25 m s-1 (90 km h-1). The arrival in the Sahel zone of West Africa coincided with the wet season there, and the birds stayed for on average three weeks. The birds arrived at their wintering grounds around the lower stretches of the Congo River in late September and stayed for seven months. In spring the great snipes made trans-Sahara flights of similar length and speed as in autumn, but the remaining migration through eastern Europe was notably slow. All birds returned to the breeding grounds within one week around mid-May. The annual cycle was characterized by relaxed temporal synchronization between individuals during the autumn-winter period, with maximum variation at the arrival in the wintering area. Synchronization increased in spring, with minimum time variation at arrival in the breeding area. This suggests that arrival date in the breeding area is under strong stabilizing selection, while there is room for more flexibility in autumn and arrival to the wintering area. The details of the fast non-stop flights remain to be elucidated, but the identification of the main stopover and wintering areas is important for future conservation work on this red-listed bird species.