Coastal Center Director Frank Gallo took some of his summer camp group to the Trout Brook Valley preserve, part of the Aspetuck Land Trust, last week to find some of the many varieties of life it holds. Our ongoing survey and management planning for the over 1,000-acre property has yielded a high number of conservation priority species. It has also be shown to hold a large number of other scarce or uncommon migrant and breeding birds that are difficult to find in other areas of the heavily developed Fairfield County.
I joined Frank and the kids along with one of our waterbird technicians, Sean Graesser, to examine some odes, leps, birds, amphibians, and reptiles. It was a cool and somewhat cloudy day, making it a little quiet for birds, but perfect for spotting some species that need to be in the sun in such weather as some new odonates were found in open clearings trying to heat up. The kids also examined some of the other insects present such as this American Dung Beetle.
Their best find was another species enjoying the cool weather - another Eastern Box Turtle!
This turtle was found far from the location of the first that Twan discovered last month and is definitely another individual. It seems this female was looking for a place to lay eggs. The kids had a great time and we had a lot more data to add to our conservation plans. It always surprises me how often summer camp groups and children on walks can uncover some of the most intriguing and important things...
Photos © Frank Gallo and not to be reproduced without explicit