Its been a long time since we’d been down to Petrie and even longer since I sent in a “Dispatch”. We found ourselves at Petrie at 1:30pm on June 21st, not the best time to see things, but we headed out for what was a 4.5km walk to renew old acquaintances. We checked out all the trails but the Sunrise Trail.
Lots of people fishing, didn’t see anyone catching anything, but then fishing isn’t always about catching fish. There were a few heron around in the bay to the west of the access road, but no ducks.
It wasn’t the best time of the day to see turtles – too many people and sun too hot – but we did see a few good sized map turtles as well as the usual painted turtles. There were a few destroyed snapping turtle nests, but nothing like the number I used to see. Fewer turtles? Fewer predators? Better protection?
The yellow iris and blue iris (blue flag) were out in many places as well as lots of anemones and one fern still in fiddlehead stage.
Canada Geese I know have been at Petrie for a while, but they were never there when I frequented the Island 10-15 years ago. There were 6 geese in the bay by the Beaver Trail. One family with 3 goslings at “causeway” on the Bill Holland Trail and another family with 5-6 younger goslings were crossing the road at the start of the Bill Holland Trail.
A few mallards were swimming in various spots included a pair, the male of which was blue, almost purple, headed. There was no green sheen. I checked for blue/purple headed mallards on the web and it seems they are not unheard of. The reason for the odd colour is not certain, but some think it is a sign of low testosterone – either for genetic reasons, or younger duck. Given this was the first one I have noticed, I suspect the testosterone rational might be a better story.
A good number of leopard frogs were along the trails and a few bull frogs were heard and seen.
Of course beaver aren’t in evidence at that time of the day, but there were signs of beavers at work last fall and several beaver lodges, included one on top of one that was deserted many years ago.
We’ll have to make a point of coming down much earlier sometime in the future to get a feel of the “real” Petrie.
Pictures at: http://www.fototime.com/inv/745D76F5A54955D