Our first night walk of the season went very well! We walked to the end of the campground when we saw a sea turtle. From the looks of things, she had been there for a while and she was not nesting, so we assumed she had finished laying her eggs. She was one of the largest loggerhead sea turtles I have ever seen! I wish I could have measured her carapace!
We watched her eventually make her way back to the ocean. There was a bright white light at one of the campsites, that seemed to disorientate her a little bit as her route to the ocean wasn't as direct.
In the morning I got a text at 6:30 am from Nicole that there was a nesting sea turtle! She came up at 5:45 am and was discovered by a camper. Luckily, nothing spooked her and she continued to lay her eggs. Here is a few photos of her heading back to the ocean.
Nicole and Nancy had notified me that they were unable to find the eggs in the body pit of the nest from the night walk. I walked up the beach further and searched for two hours looking for the eggs. I removed a layer of sand and probed the sand again. I then proceeded to use my hands to feel for softer spots and dig and dig and dig. It is hard leaving a body pit without finding the eggs.
We have listed the nest that we saw during the night walk as PN# 2. Meaning that this is a possible nest (and the second possible nest of the season). We have roped it off and will keep an eye on it around the 45-60 day mark to see if there were indeed eggs hidden. She may have fooled us or perhaps she didn't nest at all and we witnessed the end of her false crawl. There was a bright white light at one of the campsites, that may have caused her to be scared out of nesting.
Here is the body pit from PN#2:
Photos from the night walk presentation:
Sea Turtle Biologist