Past Meeting, May 2022: Middle Creek


May 21, 2022 by lancasterherp

The Lancaster Herpetological Society (LHS) wants to thank everyone who came to our Nature Walk at Middle Creek this Friday.

Fortunately, the rain passed earlier in the day and did not bother us during the walk. Middle Creek is a 6,000-acre area of protected land centered around a large lake that was created via a dam in the 1970s. The lake serves as a stop for migrating snow geese, but also forms a habitat for a plethora of wildlife.

We all met in the parking lot of the Visitors Center before walking down to the road for a view of the lake.
Before we set out on our walk, a Brown Thrasher was caught in the grill of a car. Fortunately, Roy was able to free the poor creature, who flew off into a nearby tree.
From our vantage point alongside the road, we were able to see a number of turtles basking in the early evening sunlight. A turtle is perched atop a rock in the middle right of the picture. See below for a magnified image.
A magnified image of the turtle from the above image. Those people with binoculars suggested it was a Painted Turtle.
As the sun started to go down, it created a beautiful vista across the water. In all, we saw about 5 turtles, some basking on rocks and others swimming about the water.
A Red-tailed hawk was perched atop a dead tree, calmly surveying the area. Photo by Anne Esbenshade.
A light mist was forming over the grassland creating an eerily calm atmosphere as the night descended. Photo by Anne Esbenshade.
The last herp of the night was a juvenile Eastern Toad!

Once again, thank you everyone who came out to make the evening a memorable one! While we did not see many reptiles and amphibians, any excuse to get outside is a good one! Stay tuned for word of next month’s nature walk. If you have any suggestions of places we could go on future walks, do not hesitate to reach out!

-Gregory Wier


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