Misplaced

LARGO

Piney
Sep 7, 2005
1,535
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Pestletown
So I come home today (weather was funky).
I pull in the yard and in the garden off the driveway I see one good sized turtle amidst new young zucchi plants. Hmmm? Now, this season has, as some herpers have shown, been a bit more active. I've got toads a batch. Small box turtles hanging out and Friday, a pine snake in the Herb garden (not cool). I have over the past years even had stray snappers, but this is a landmark first...

O.K.,
Please don't laugh.. Red Belly right? I have spent years watching these things eyeball me and ploop into the Mullica or Batsto but never in my field.
I am somewhat near two ponds but have only ever seen snappers in the ponds. I thought these things were river denizens. It is very sizeable.
If I have picked up anything in reading here I suppose by size and color pattern it is up in years.

It was not terribly put out by the kids and I looking at it but it did seem to be digging in the dirt while we looked at it instinctively.

I made sure the kids didn't fuss with it although my dad stopped over and gave it a poke. Jeez dad. The kids loved it though and of course wanted to keep it.

I really figured it was out of place bigtime and my dad suggested I move it. Since the ponds didn't seem right I decided to bring it to the Clark Branch.
A nice junket just before dinner. So I coaxed it into a 5 gallon bucket.
To give you a size clue, it did not fit well, quite awkward.
My logic here is, I am not squeemish and figured I would be cool but thought the ride might be a little traumatic for the turtle and me with it on my lap.
If not bitten, I would rather not be pissed on.
I didn't think the bucket was super but the ride on the quad would be short and I went nice and easy so as to not freak it out too much.
And then, a nice release to a quietly moving stream.

It, with a little nudge or two, got into the groove.


It did of course plunge right into the area of the stream that crosses the road where those reckless quad riders with no regard for nature blast through not caring what the waters hold hoping to kill everything in our path so I had to persuade it to cross the way and find a safe nitch.
done.

I was pleased to put it in some flowing cedar water because it seemed to be huffing a little although for all I know what I took to be a dried out turlte could have been fine and just breathing heavy. I ain't no herper. I hope I did right. The Clark Branch seems a better fit than my dusty field.
If anyone knows, why would this be here? I am not bigtime far from streams but the kind of real river water or bogs I see these things in is farther off.
I know they can travel but I have never ever seen one out here. Odd, at least to me?

g.
 

GermanG

Piney
Apr 2, 2005
1,053
339
1,063
Little Egg Harbor
I'm sure it is egg laying Bob. Most water turtles rarely venture far from water other than for nesting. I saw two terrapins on Seven Bridges Road this weeked that were smashed by cars while going to or from their nesting sites and helped several others across the road before they met the same fate. I can never understand how so many cannot avoid something as slow moving as a turtle. I guess we on this forum belong to a small subset of society that notices such details outside our windshields, while the rest fuss with their CD players and cell phones.
 

LARGO

Piney
Sep 7, 2005
1,535
101
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Pestletown
Given my trip last weekend with Jason to Seven Bridges, I saw the egg laying gig going on and saw that same instinctive motion but it just seemed wierd in a dirt field. Again, I am not familiar.
Hope I didn't mess up it's plans but that field is no place for eggs.
And yes German, only A-holes would find the need to run over those Terrapins. There were hundreds but a small inconvenience to move. I saw dudes stop truck & boat trailor to do so.

g.
 

LARGO

Piney
Sep 7, 2005
1,535
101
1,043
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Pestletown
Now that's one thing I was afraid of, displacing an egg laying turtle.
Again to be honest it just seemed so out of place and that digging in effort i figured could have been more than one thing.
Well, either way, eggs would have been trashed on the next pass with a tractor. If it must find other lodgings so be it, I still feel better about relocating it. I really don't bother much with them in the wild anyway.
Thanks all for your information and your viewing.

g.
 

Teegate

Administrator
Site Administrator
Sep 17, 2002
22,624
4,573
1,093
Nothing wrong with moving it if the eggs would be wasted.

Guy
 

Mike_Future

New Member
May 8, 2006
23
0
1
43
Fairfield County, CT
Yes, it is a Northern Redbelly Turtle. Turtles dig several "test" nests before choosing the perfect spot. Neat observations. I photographed a big female last summer in Burlington County.



 
Nov 12, 2007
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atlantic county
I just love those turtles, hope moving the little guy (or gal) helped on her journey. Me and Gabe recently spotted a nesting snapper in catus island, she was big and didn't seem to mind us observing her.
 

dragoncjo

Piney
Aug 12, 2005
1,370
99
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camden county
George, redbellies live in large lakes, ponds, and streams. They will travel far to lay eggs...but usually only a couple hundred yards. Most turtles lay eggs were they hatched and will continue to use that spot for years. Don't feel to bad about relocating it....however as a rule it is never good to relocate any turtle as they will try to seek out there old home and may die in the process. Good job of looking out though.

Also why is a pine snake in your garden bad? Its eating the rodents.
 

dragoncjo

Piney
Aug 12, 2005
1,370
99
1,028
39
camden county
GermanG, the ones you helped cross the road ended up getting hit?

I know that road well and it amazes me there is no terrapin crossing signs.....there is no reason to be on that road unless you enjoy nature or fish.......there is no good reason for any adult terrapin to die on that road. When I was on it three times this year I saw no dead ones......but if anyone does see dead ones try to get the eggs out of them, put them in some moist sand and put them in a warm room in your house or garage.....they should hatch. I have a dozen or so in my incubator right now that were extracted out of dead females........if they hatch release the babies in the bay along the road....or email me if you don't want to incubate them....I'll do it for you.