Turtles abound in the small waterway between the lakes. It is brackish water. These are not sea turtles. This bale of the turtles are small.
Click on photos to see full size.
There were about 15, yes, 15 of these BIG BOYS basking in the sun at the end of a small island in the waterway, and when they saw me all but these three slipped right down into the water. I wish I could have taken the group picture. You would have been amazed.
The one on the left and several others were about as large as a dinner plate! They wait for the signets and ducklings to arrive and then grab them by their little legs and pull them under. They then drown and the turtles eat them.
Turtle shells are actually living tissue, growing from the inside. Occasionally the top layer sloughs off, and new tissue is already prepared to replace it. This is what you see on this guy.
The cob is alert and sees a trio of Mallards approaching the nest on land, where his mate, the pen, is sitting on eggs. It looks like the hen duck hasn't decided yet which drake will be her mate - like she has a choice!
He scares them away and will do this constantly with all geese, ducks, cormorants, and any others who threaten their nest.