Often it pays to be on the lookout, even when you’re not explicitly looking for herps. One night I was waiting at the Lumpani bus stop, looking to catch a bus home after having just gotten back from a trip out of town. The bus took a little time coming, so I figured, “why not have a look at the canal while I’m here?”
What a fortuitous thought! Inside the canal were a number of Black Marsh Turtles foraging for food. I had never seen this species before – in fact, I had only just found out they existed 2 days earlier! The turtles must be nocturnal, as I had never seen them in many day trips to the park, but here they were in numbers at night. They seemed to be foraging for carrion and trash, and perhaps snails and crabs, on the edge of the canal. I caught some photos of their foraging:
And then snatched one of them and got a few pics of it up close. You can see why they are referred to as the “smiling” turtle.
In a place like Bangkok, where nature has still managed to hang on in so many parts of the city, it can pay to keep your eyes open no matter what else you happen to be doing at the time.