Interesting Evaluation Today

No new nests today, but we evaluated a very unique emergence this morning. The first emergence on this nest occurred on Sunday out of a crab hole. This happens every so often. Some hatchlings, while crawling up through the sand with the group, will enounter a crab’s tunnel and take the “exit” for a much easier crawl to the surface. This crab hole emergence was unusual because the crab hole from which the hatchlings emerged was at least a foot away from where we knew the clutch was. Subsequently, there was a second and larger emergence, right where we knew the clutch would be. We evaluated the nest this morning by digging into the larger, second emergence, first, finding 128 hatched eggs, 11 unhatched eggs, 5 dead hatchlings and 7 live hatchlings. Next, we dug into the crab hole, the site of the first emergence. We opened the tunnel all the way to the clutch area, finding 8 more dead hatchlings and 2 more live ones.

FIrst emergence on the left, second on the right.

FIrst emergence on the left, second on the right.

The crab’s tunnel opening into the shaft above the clutch.
The crab’s tunnel opens into the area above where the clutch was. The black ring is a mineral vein, through which the nesting turtle dug.

Six New Nests the First Eight Days of July and Two June 30

One more loggerhead nest today, but no false crawls. We now have 59 nests and 52 false crawls. There are 25 nests and 23 false crawls north of Mickler’s, a 2.2 mile stretch, and 34 nests and 29 false crawls south of Mickler’s, a 1.7 mile stretch.

Totals as of July 8

We had two more loggerhead nests on July 7. Both of these nests were unique. There were also two false crawls on the 7th.

MN021 – That is an exposed piece of broken and buried vinyl sheeting that was left behind by the seawall contractors.

On the 5th we had a nest and a false crawl.

The crawl was attempted within a washout area that the condos have tried to remedy.

The 4th brought 2 false crawls.

July 2nd there were TWO more nests between Sawgrass and the Sea Hammock Condos. We also had a big false crawl, by a Green turtle, but the good news is, one of the two nests was a Green.

The last day of June was GOOD DAY! TWO nests and only two false crawls! The pictures of the second nest were taken by our guest contributer, Christine Miller Wanderon, who was extremely excited about the nest!

Seven New Nests Over Past Four Days

Today is a good news/bad news kind of day — We got a nest! YAY! But we also had SIX false crawls. Something weird is going on this year. We have 51 nests and 44 false crawls. The Beaches Patrol has 40 nests and 62 false crawls. I’ll let you know when someone figures out why we are having so many false crawls….

On Sunday we had THREE nests, which had put us at the half-century mark and well above both averages. WOOHOO!!! But wait! There is even more amazing news from Sunday’s patrol on the turtle front — one of the nests was a rather late-arriving LEATHERBACK! We now have FOUR leatherback nests for the season.

Another loggerhead nest was found on the 27th! YAY! Sadly, however, on that day we added 3 more false crawls to the books. This nest was a good example of a nesting turtle camoflaging the location of her clutch.

We had no crawls on the 25th, but on the 26th we had two new nests. Unfortunately, there were also five false crawls. One of our nests was another one in the vegetation. This one was 15 feet beyond the line of solid vegetation.

Totals as of June 29

Two New Nests – One Highly Unusual

Two more nests yesterday! 44 total nests keeps us above both averages. The first nest was fairly normal, but the second one was highly unusual. She nested 63 feet into the vegetation. This is Nancy’s 12th year of doing this, and she has never seen a nest this far into the vegetation.

Totals as of June 24

The following photographs are from MSO25 – the unusual nest where the Loggerhead went 63 feet into the vegetation to nest. It was quite a sight to see.

She went into the vegetation on the left and came out on the right, near the steps.
There is a big difference in track length, which tells you she was up there a long time, as the tide went out.
This a large disturbed area, considering it is in vegetation and was created by a loggerhead.
That is the nest way back there!

One New Nest, Four False Crawls

Another loggerhead nest on June 23 and, sadly, 4 false crawls, three of which had at least 1 abandoned body pit and abnormal tracks.

Totals as of June 23
False Crawl #3

12 Nests Since the Last Update

We have had 12 new nests since the last update to the page. That includes 4 loggerhead nests today, two yesterday, one on June 20, two on June 14, two on June 13, and one on June 12. During the same time period we also had 11 false crawls.

Totals as of June 22

One of the false crawls last night was our second “Busy Betty” crawl. She left 7 abandoned body pits this time, with no nest. Our hearts break for this poor turtle. She exerts so much effort, but for some reason cannot dig an egg chamber in which to deposit her eggs.

False Crawl June 20

Two Loggerheads in Vegetation and a False Crawl

TWO more loggerhead nests today! 26 nests puts us above both averages. YAY! Both nests today were in the vegetation, which is not common. We really don’t like it when they are in there, because of the roots, which can damage the eggs and hold moisture in the sand. There are also fire ants in the vegetation! We willl hope for the best on both of these. Our false crawl was caused by a huge tree trunk that had washed up on the beach. ;-(

Totals as of June 8, 2020


Five New Nests Since Wednesday

There were two nests and two false crawls on Friday, two nests on Saturday, and a nest and false crawl on Sunday.

As of today, we now have 2 dozen nests. Not too bad at all. Today’s false crawl was a loggerhead. Our nester today was not very large, judging by her track width, but she was energetic. She moved a lot of sand around in her 2 abandoned body pits and nest.

Totals as of June 7, 2020
This is what happens to paint pen markings in the rain. LOL
Totals as of June 6, 2020

On Saturday, the first one, when we tried to pound one of the nest stakes in, the stake kept going crooked. We dug and found part of broken concrete block. The other nest is in front of a seawall, but fortunately it is one of more westerly seawalls we have.

MN009 –¬†She went straight back into the ocean, but when she came out of the ocean….

On Friday our total climbed to 21 nests.

Totals as of June 5, 2020
MN007 – The indentions are made by her stub of a right rear flipper.

A false crawl that messed up some newly planted sea oats. They will come back just fine though!
Another false crawl. She didn’t like this artificially steep slope. Man-made slopes just don’t compare to the ones nature makes.

Two Nests on Wednesday

Two more loggerhead nests on Wednesday! 19 nests so far. The season is looking better! The disparency between the beach north of Mickler’s and that south of Mickler’s continues: South (1.7 miles) has 13 nests and only 2 false crawls. North (2.2 miles) has 6 nests and 6 false crawls. Pretty crazy!

Totals as of June 3, 2020